New reports suggest that Saudi Arabia will need thousands of new medical workers if it is to meet the healthcare requirements of its growing population.
Phillips Healthcare has claimed that at least 7,000 doctors and nurses will have to be recruited within the next ten years, and it is thought that the bulk of these recruits will be expatriates. Not only will these expats be joining the ranks of current Saudi Arabia medical staff, they will also be working in facilities that have yet to be made.
Diederick Zeven from Phillips Healthcare explained: “Saudi Arabia is by far the biggest investor in healthcare (in the Middle East). It will need another 7000 doctors and nurses over the next five to ten years to address the needs of its population and work across the existing and new facilities. They are investing heavily in education, building university teaching hospitals and so on, but there is no doubt they’ll still be dependent on expat assistance coming from all over the region.”
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is implementing an $18 billion program to build 100 new hospitals and 2,000 smaller clinics throughout the area. The health drive comes as chronic illnesses are on the rise in Saudi Arabia. This fact coupled with an aging population will put an increased strain on the current Saudi healthcare system.
With a lack of skilled medical workers in Saudi Arabia many positions will have to be filled by skilled expats, as Ruch de Silva, a senior healthcare consultant in the UAE, states: “The GCC region generally depends on expatriate healthcare professionals to meet the demands of the population.”