Expat Health Insurance & Healthcare Guide to Saudi Arabia
Expats share their experiences with healthcare and expat health insurance in Saudi Arabia.
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Expat Health Insurance & Medical Care
An expat in Riyadh recommends returning to the US or Europe for medical treatment should the need arise. She found that medical care, even at the top hospital in Riyadh, was substandard.
This was my fourth pregnancy. I decided to stay in Saudi for the delivery because the baby was due in late October and I didn't want my older child to miss school, which he would have done if we had gone home to the States.
I chose a small private maternity hospital that was very highly recommended by an American friend, who had delivered three children there.
A month before my due date, my physician, who was also the owner of the hospital, urged me to allow her to induce labor, saying that the fetus was so large that she doubted that I would be able to deliver it normally. I questioned this, since it was my fourth pregnancy, and I'm pretty broad of beam, but she insisted, so finally I agreed.
The induction and labor took two days. The labor was hideously painful, as the cervix had not even begun to efface, and I received no analgesia during either the labor or the delivery. The baby weighed just less than 5 pounds, and had to be transferred to a proper hospital for several days in a premie intensive care unit, where she did receive excellent care. She had several health problems in early childhood, but I don't know that they were a direct result of the forced premature birth. Now in college, she's tall and healthy, thank God, in spite of her criminally poor birth care.
I choose to go to a private hospital called Kingdom Hospital since it was the neighbour of our compound, Kingdom City compound. I had a wonderful doctor which I would higly recommend, her name is Dr. Wad Sarawan. When it was time to deliver, she came to the hospital in the middle of the night and eveything went extremly smooth. The only pain management I took was the nitroxygen, it was enough for me. I came in to the hospital at 22.15 and the baby came 04.35 inte morning and after that I stayed one night in the hospital and went home the day after. My delivery was a very positive experience.
I went to a private hospital which had lots of western patients and all English/US trained and speaking doctors. I was given an epidural (which failed) and eventually a general anasthetic for an emergency caesarian. I was in hospital for 4 days and was very well cared for. The doctors and nurses were very nice, although not that encouraging or knowledgable about breast-feeding.