Saudi Arabia has taken its decision to implement mandatory health insurance for all the visit visas. The insurance must cover medical assistance and evacuation in emergencies for all the visitors intending to fly to Saudia Arabia. However, this condition does not apply on Hajj and Umrah pilgrims.
The Council of Cooperative Health Insurance officials have not announced the date from which this new condition would be applied on all visiting visas. This step is taken to prevent visitors from availing Saudi’s hospital services for free. After implementation of this new rule, only those foreigners will be eligible to apply for visit visa who would bear proper and authentic health insurance policies. It is also not yet confirmed whether visitor’s home country health or travel insurer will grant insurance, or whether it has to be arranged by a health or travel insurer licensed within Saudi Arabia.
Dr. Saniha Mahejabeen, an expert on health insurance working in a major private hospital of Jeddah, appreciated the decision of this new rule. She further added “the decision is taken in the interest of local citizens because most of the foreign visitors are parents of expats who are aged or suffering from chronic diseases, and their medical expenses are high.” Kuwait is also considering taking the similar step for the foreigners coming to visit their country.