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- Describe how healthcare system financing works in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Give at least two references to support your answer.
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- classmate answer 1: Healthcare Financing in Saudi Arabia
- In Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Health (MoH) is the biggest provider of healthcare services—the ministry and the agencies they control or provide health care services to the general public (Al-Hanawi et al., 2018). The government funds the ministry through the annual budget allocated to them. The Ministry of health controls 60% of the hospitals and healthcare institutions in Saudi Arabia which constitute public hospitals. The government provides the public hospitals under the Ministry of health with finances to pay for the medicines given to the citizens for free (Al-Hanawi et al., 2018). Medication is free for Saudi Arabian citizens based on the assessment done by the ministry to address the needs of the health sector.
- The healthcare system in Saudi Arabia is also financed by private investors who start hospitals and provide healthcare services to the people. The investors provide the initial funds to purchase the medication and the equipment (Buswell, 2023). There has been an increased number of private hospitals in large towns and cities to bridge the gap between the increased number of patients and the availability of hospitals. These private hospitals draw their finances from employee insurance, out-of-pocket payment by the patients and the employers, and at times, there is a public-private partnership (PPP) (Buswell, 2023). Under the PPP program, the government eases restrictions that prevent private investors and offer other incentives, such as tax benefits to private hospitals, reducing the cost of operations, which in a way, is indirect financing of these institutions.
Classmate answer 2: The healthcare system in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is financed through a combination of public and private funding sources. The government is the primary funder of healthcare services, with the Ministry of Health (MOH) responsible for the majority of healthcare provision in the country. In addition to the MOH, there are other government agencies that provide healthcare services, such as the Ministry of Defense and Aviation, the Ministry of Interior, and the Ministry of National Guard.
The government finances healthcare through several mechanisms, including general revenue funds, allocations from the budget, and zakat (an Islamic tax on wealth). In recent years, there has been a push to increase the role of private sector financing in healthcare, with the government offering incentives to encourage private investment in the sector.
Private healthcare financing in Saudi Arabia includes both out-of-pocket payments and insurance coverage. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) regulates the insurance industry in the country, and there are several private insurance companies that offer health insurance plans to individuals and employers.
In addition to public and private financing, there are also charitable organizations that provide healthcare services in the country. One example is the King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives, which provides healthcare services to the elderly and disabled.
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Expert Solution Preview
Healthcare system financing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia involves both public and private funding sources. The Ministry of Health (MoH) is the main provider of healthcare services and receives funding from the government through the annual budget. Private investors also contribute to healthcare financing by establishing hospitals and providing healthcare services. Private financing can come from employee insurance, out-of-pocket payments, and public-private partnerships. (Al-Hanawi et al., 2018) (Buswell, 2023)
In addition to the MoH, other government agencies like the Ministry of Defense and Aviation, the Ministry of Interior, and the Ministry of National Guard also provide healthcare services and receive funding through general revenue funds, budget allocations, and zakat. Private healthcare financing in Saudi Arabia includes out-of-pocket payments and insurance coverage regulated by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA). Charitable organizations such as the King Abdulaziz Foundation for Research and Archives also contribute to healthcare services. (Al-Hanawi et al., 2018) (Buswell, 2023)