Expatriates working in Saudi Arabia must realize that health care in the kingdom doesn't come cheap. It has been now made mandatory that all sponsors must necessarily obtain health insurance for their employees. I had written a separate article on this earlier (click here). Though this is a welcome move, there are certain issues which need to be attended to urgently. For example, if the sponsor does not obtain the health insurance on time, the employee's passport will not be stamped with an exit/reentry visa nor will his iqama be renewed. In other words, the employee has to suffer for the fault of his sponsor. But the trauma does not end there. Without an insurance card, the employee would have to shell out a huge amount to the hospital in case of sickness / hospitalization.
It is not uncommon to see both Saudis as well as expats go to other countries to have certain important surgeries done. No, it is not that there aren't enough facilities here. It is just that top-notch specialists who perform certain critical surgeries are available abroad and at relatively cheaper prices! Some oriental countries have grabbed this opportunity to start what is now fashionably known as medical tourism!