How Saudi's health insurance market may hold the key to the industry's future
The Saudi government is aiming to invest long-term in the country's health infrastructure (File/AFP)
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Saudi health insurance market could be one of the biggest in the region due to its massive reach, geographic scale and complexity in deployment, according to a medical health insurance expert.
“It is a huge potential market and the Ministry of Health (MoH) has a vision to improve the equability, standards, availability and quality of care in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” said Dr. Saif Aljaibeji, Vice President, Government Relations Middle East at Aetna International.
Aljaibeji added that the MoH has been showing keen interest in applying the Saudi e-Health Transactions Program and meeting its requirements.
“The Saudi government is going forward with a long-term vision and is determined to create the necessary health infrastructure to make it truly connected and automated in order to meet the future healthcare challenges,” said Aljaibeji.
During the MoH-HIMSS event held on April 13-14 at the Jeddah Hilton Hotel, Aljaibeji underscored the importance of equipping healthcare organizations with evolving and sustainable solutions that can ensure continuous return on investment while driving down total cost of ownership.
“The MoH-HIMSS event was an ideal platform for promoting the importance of information technology in leading healthcare organizations to function optimally in their support of the health goals of the country.” He said.
He further said that IT companies and sponsors of the event were looking for opportunities to network with health care providers in Saudi Arabia as well as others in the rest of the Middle East and Africa.
He praised the announcement made by MoH at the event as it is upgrading and equipping over 2,900 Primary Healthcare Centers (PHC) with new automated, standardized e-health systems called “Rabet the Saudi e-Health Transactions Program” and connect them to be able to share patient information among themselves, hospitals, labs and specialty clinics.?
“They are thinking about the future, keeping in mind that they have to maintain quality of health care and the best way to invest in quality is to use technology. Believe me when this network ‘Health Information Exchange’ is completed the Kingdom’s healthcare system would be the largest e-health network” he said.
He explained that Rabet links all public and private health sectors in an integrated system that would ensure an interrelated and coherent base of health services in the Kingdom. He said: “By so doing, information will be unified, duplication will be averted, waste will be curbed, and thus resources will be best exploited.”
Aetna backed up by 150 year history and a proven track record of managing health for over 36 million members is currently in discussions with health regulators in Dubai, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia about business potential in those countries.
“Our technologies and solutions are designed to streamline health care delivery reducing clinical errors and shaping prevention-focused health environments. Together these lay the foundation foe effective, high quality and lower cost health systems,” he said.
By Saleh Fareed
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