In the last month, Saudi Arabia has decided to implement mandatory health insurance. This insurance covers medical assistance and evacuation in case of emergency for all foreign nationals, including pilgrims, who intend to visit the Kingdom. Pilgrims and Umrah however be exempt from various requirements in following this insurance.
But so far, the Council of Cooperative Health Insurance officials still have not confirmed the date from which the new requirements will apply. Once the new rules can be implemented, only foreign visitors who have got health insurance policy can be eligible to apply for a visit visa in Saudi diplomatic missions abroad.
Dr. Saniha Mahejabeen, an expert on health insurance in cooperation with leading private hospital in Jeddah, welcomed the decision of Saudi Arabia's. He said that, a lot of foreigners who come to experience chronic diseases. "Most of the visitors who enter the Kingdom on a visit visa is the parent of expatriates who are aged or suffering from a disease of chronic, so that their medical expenses are very high," said Mahejabeen as reported by Arab News on March 5, 2014 last.
He also said that many pregnant women who went with her husband in the Kingdom on a visit visa at any time give birth, so that would cost is quite expensive in the care of his birth in the Kingdom. Dr Saniha also explained that visitors who are insured will be protected from the cost spent on while undergoing treatment.
Usually visitors experienced sudden unexpected illness earlier as infections and unintentional injuries. The health insurance service will not only help foreigners to be able to ensure the necessary care or treatment for their relatives, but also will protect the host family of huge bills from the hospital.
Syed Ali G., a senior official at a leading health insurance company in Saudi Arabia also said that insurance services are ideal for foreigners who visited Saudi Arabia. As well as to parents and other loved ones who visited the country.
In addition, he also warned that only a handful of companies that can handle this job and health services. So if there is no obligation to follow the health insurance can eventually lead to an increase in premium. The same thing also expressed by Mohammed Adeeb who worked on Link Travels in Hyderabad, India, which also has been doing business visa issuance and management for more than 20 years. He explained that health insurance is very important.
"Our agents have processed tens or less a day visit visa for a trip to Saudi Arabia, so that health insurance is mandatory, although there are some areas that are still unclear," he said. Adeeb also hope that the policy of health insurance in Saudi Arabia is going to be the best.
In a statement the Saudi Foreign Ministry, at least has issued 1.3 million visas visits through 112 missions abroad. Notes that this figure has increased 7 percent compared to the previous year. As this figure is estimated that the growth will continue in the coming years.