National Health Insurance Center to purchase healthcare services for Saudis

RIYADH — All the employees and workers who are involved in providing healthcare services at all levels under the Ministry of Health (MoH) will be transferred to the proposed Health Holding Company or to any of the company’s subsidiaries.

Minister of Health Fahd Al-Jalajel said the approval of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman for the Cabinet decision to establish the Health Holding Company as well as to organize the National Health Insurance Center would contribute to the effective performance of the Kingdom’s healthcare system .

Under the new arrangement, the Ministry of Health is the regulator and supervisor of public and private health institutions, and it enables health clusters to provide integrated healthcare services to beneficiaries in all regions of the Kingdom in accordance with the modern healthcare model at its various levels , the minister pointed out.

“This decision lays the systemic foundations for implementing the transformation strategy in the Ministry of Health, which will take place in successive stages over the coming years, as health clusters will work to implement a set of transformational programs aimed at promoting community health, prevention and early detection of diseases and health risks,” he added.

According to the Cabinet decision, the new National Health Insurance Center (NHIC) will purchase health services provided by the Health Holding Company or its subsidiaries. The budgetary allocations for the MoH for the provision of healthcare services at all levels will be transferred to the NHIC, in accordance with the plan, phases and mechanisms decided by the supervisory committee for the privatization of the health sector.

The allocations earmarked in the general budget for the current capital projects of MoH continue to be disbursed in accordance with the current arrangements.

As per the Cabinet decision, the MoH will continue providing healthcare services until it is completely transferred to the Health Holding Company or to its subsidiaries. The decision also stipulates that the Health Holding Company is committed to applying the modern healthcare model in accordance with the requirements set by MoH. As far as the state properties that are being handled by the MoH are concerned, it was stated in the Cabinet decision that the ministry should continue exercising its role in accordance with the established regulations and rules.

The NHIC would submit the comprehensive health insurance vision for the citizens to the Strategic Committee at the Council of Economic and Development Affairs for approval, before starting to implement health insurance for citizens. As for the Health Holding Company, it will establish health clusters in the form of independent companies known as Health Clusters Company to provide healthcare services.

All citizens who are eligible for healthcare will benefit from the NHIC’s healthcare services if they are not covered by other healthcare systems, programs or services provided to them by entities other than the MoH. Citizens who are covered by other healthcare systems, programs, or special services that are provided to them by bodies other than the ministry will also be benefited from the NHIC services. This will be in accordance with what is approved by the Council of Ministers based on a proposal submitted by the MoH, Ministry of Finance and similar bodies.

The beneficiaries also include Saudis working in the public and private sectors; their family members; as well as children of a Saudi mother from a non-Saudi husband residing in the Kingdom or non-Saudi wife married to a Saudi, and a non-Saudi married to a Saudi woman residing in the Kingdom, in the event theit healthcare is not covered by a cooperative health insurance policy. The beneficiaries of NHIC healthcare service also include non-Saudi workers in government sectors, if they are not covered by special healthcare systems, programs or services.

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