This chapter includes the following articles.
Saudi Arabia has a growing population that, combined with increased life expectancy and a rising rate of so-called lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, means demand for health care services is set to continue to grow for the foreseeable future. Yet while the state remains the largest player in the health care industry, providing free treatment to nationals and stepping up spending, the authorities are working to encourage the expansion of the already substantial private health sector. There are indications that progress is being made; growth in the private sector seems to be higher than in the public sector in some areas, with the number of private hospital beds growing by 18% between 2007 and 2011. In addition, a number of large infrastructure projects are under way, including a new medical city in the south of the country and a children’s and maternity hospital in Al Jouf. Private companies are also investing in expansion, while foreign firms are stepping up their commitments within the sector.