MOH News

Minister of Health Adopts Health Insurance Conference Recommendations
31 May 2011
His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al Rabeeah, has adopted recommendations from the scientific committee of the Health Insurance Conference “Options & Prospects,” held by the Ministry of Health on April 10th and 11th, 2011.  The recommendations were made by a specialized high committee chaired by the Deputy of Planning and Development, Dr. Mohammad Bin Hamza Khoshaim. The recommendations include:
  • The importance of raising health insurance awareness among Saudi citizens and various health service providers. Insurance is only a financial means to pay for healthcare services, not to provide those services.
  • Health systems must be built on the basic principles of the Kingdom and must provide freely available, comprehensive and fairly-distributed healthcare and referral services to all citizens Kingdomwide.
  • The importance of considering each country’s health conditions and economic, political and cultural health environment. The perfect, ideal healthcare system does not exist.  Any nation’s healthcare system, whether or not they rely on insurance schemes to function, must depend upon their resources and national environment to be successful.  Even Europe, Canada and the United States do not have ideal healthcare provisions for all of their citizens. 
  • Scientific research related to systems, policies, financing and managing of healthcare services and health insurance must be the basis for making logical decisions when reforming any healthcare system.
  • Health insurance protocols must be subject to a number of considerations (including political, economic, and cultural) as well as rates of population growth. 
  • Health insurance doesn’t enhance the performance quality of health services directly; performance quality depends on healthcare standards and applicable policies in terms of monitoring and reviewing these standards for each health service provider. 
  • Eliminating commercial health insurance, since it is based purely on profitability.  Most advanced countries in Western Europe implement non-profit, governmental cooperative health insurance programs.
  • Social health insurance is the most common type due to its mandatory and non-profit characteristics, and also to the fact that it continuously updates treatment methods and procedures.  In Europe, social insurance is either supported through taxes (i.e., Italy, Sweden and Denmark) or through social insurance (i.e., France, Germany and Belgium.)
  • New insurance systems; encouraging workers and creativity and giving citizens a choice of physicians and hospitals.
  • Meeting and complying with all requirements before implementing any new health insurance schemes.
  • Having a comprehensive unified information technology system linking all health sectors.
  • Adopting and implementing national standards for health insurance information systems, such as the international coding and diseases diagnostic group.
  • Creating a pricing system and establishing cost units for all government sector medical services.
  • Creating a work environment that supports the new system. This work environment will be based on transparency, efficiency and the optimal use of resources with high operating efficiency.
  • Setting legislation needed for the system, and creating an effective monitoring system.
  • Hiring managerial and technical staff to manage the system, and preparing experts in insurance, risk management, investment, statistics, cost calculation and health economics.
  • Maintaining the quality of healthcare services by hiring technical staff, supporting the implementation of world health standards, and creating an accreditation system for all health institutions.
  • Shifting gradually to an effective medical operating system far removed from bureaucracy to ensure prompt delivery.
  • Completing scientific field research on the exact and detailed conditions of cooperative health insurance and the feasibility of applying it in the Kingdom.
  • Finalizing the construction of existing hospitals, specialized cities and primary health centers to ensure that health services are provided in every village in the Kingdom.
  • Finalizing the infrastructure of all existing hospitals to provide fair and equal medical services in all regions.

Last Update : 04 June 2011 12:41 PM
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