4 ministries plan medical insurance for their staff

William Arsn

Saudi Gazette report

RIYADH — The ministry of finance and three other ministries are planning to conclude contracts with specialized companies to provide medical insurance services to their employees. The ministries of commerce, tourism, and economy and planning are intending to introduce medical insurance for their staff along with the ministry of finance, Al-Watan newspaper said Tuesday quoting informed sources.

The move is nearly nine years after the Health Services Council (HSC) formed a committee to study the issue of applying health insurance to Saudi employees in implementation of the order of the highest authorities that all state employees must be covered by health insurance. There is also a directive in the order to the ministry of health, the Health Services Council and the Cooperative Health Insurance Council to carry out studies in this regard.

Ministries of commerce, tourism, and economy and planning, the report said, are in the process of concluding contracts with insurance companies to provide medical insurance services to their employees, while the ministry of finance intends to provide medical insurance to employees falling under the National Financial Systems Program.

About four years ago, the financial committee of the Shoura (Consultative) Council had proposed that the ministry of health shall provide health insurance to government employees as well as to citizens not having health insurance.

Dr. Fahd Bin Jumaa, chairman of the committee, had said in a statement then that the recommendation would entail the state incurring costs in the first phase of the proposal, but in the long run there will be great benefits, the most important of which is creating a large demand for health services, which in turn will lead to the development of the insurance sector. It will enable investors to enter this field in a larger and wider area and increase health insurance services, he had pointed out.

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