Arab News – The health insurance file seems to be the most complicated, with eight consecutive ministers failing to solve it, local media has reported.
An official source in the Ministry of Health confirmed the approval of a new plan that has been studied by the ministry in various phases and at different levels.
The source said the ministry needs trained employees and that they are working on this issue.
Experts in health directorates said there is no health insurance project, while a senior official, who used to work in the ministry, said issues related to health insurance did not go beyond the study phase.
They pointed to the presence of 15 million citizens who are in need of health insurance, with the number of insured not reaching a fraction of this figure, according to studies.
In a newspaper interview, Dr. Othman bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabiea, the former undersecretary of the Ministry of Health, said there is no ready health insurance project.
He added that the health system is summed up in providing health services to citizens without expense, and the state bears all costs.
However, there are two health insurance models; the first is the cooperative health insurance, which was issued in 1999 and includes 30 percent of the Kingdom’s citizens who work in the private sector and their families.
The second model is selective health insurance, which involves higher fees. According to the Health Insurance Council’s report, in 2013 the majority of citizens preferred compulsory health insurance, which is 13 percent of Saudi citizens, at no more than 2.5 million.
Dr. Khaled Al-Sawwaf, former adviser at the Ministry of Health, said the health insurance project needs an independent commission to benefit from the expected expansion in health activities after applying cooperative health insurance to increase the employment and training of Saudis.
Al-Sawwaf said the establishment of a control body and the devising of the registration system for companies inside the Kingdom will regulate the Saudi insurance market, which will contribute to facilitating the approval of insurance companies that participate in activating the health insurance system.


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