Economic Growth and Healthcare Quality
Saudi Arabia is considered the largest country in middle east. Saudi population is increasing in which there should be a comprehensive plan to support the healthcare sectors. Saudi government has been making continuous efforts to improve and strengthen the economy. It is challenging to come up with considerable improvements in the healthcare system which include developing policies, plans and regulations to overcome the increase in health expenditures (Yusuf, 2014). World Health Organization (2010), estimated Saudi health expenditures to reach 19 billion US$ in 2010 and it is expected to increase every year. Therefore, Saudi Vision 2030 addressed this issue in its theme of corporatization (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia vision 2030, 2016b).
Corporatization will improve and ensure quality of healthcare services in which it allows the government to pay attention to its legislative, governing and administrative roles. It will promote specialization in healthcare services and enable consumers to choose their preferred healthcare providers (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia vision 2030, 2016b). Saudi government is devoted to a course of improvements to the healthcare system to be responsive to the needs and demands of Saudi population (Gough, 2011). Privatization of healthcare sectors is one of the solutions to improve economic growth. The basis of privatization is the transformational changes in healthcare objectives, incentives and control mechanisms that lead to improved performance (Tiemann & Schreyögg, 2011).
Saudi health insurance is one of the Saudi government’s plans for improving economic growth, healthcare quality and access to healthcare services. Saudi healthcare system need to control and manage a health insurance policy to ensure its effectiveness in Saudi healthcare sector (Almalki, Fitzgerald & Clark, 2011). MOH is facing the challenges of financing, controlling and managing public healthcare sectors (Almalki, Fitzgerald & Clark, 2011). Therefore, restructuring Saudi MOH is another important solution to control the increase of health expenditures. Giving authority to the regional health directorates, applying health insurance system and encouraging privatization of public healthcare settings will improve healthcare economy and focus more improving healthcare quality.
Healthcare Quality Policies
The Saudi government has significantly put in place important measures to ensure the devolvement of high quality healthcare standards. Saudi Arabia has adopted a national health system where the government through its healthcare agencies provides healthcare where it is possible to evaluate the existing healthcare standards. The private sector has been making significant headway in the provision of quality healthcare services. MOH lays an important role in supervising and maintaining quality of healthcare services (Almalki, Fitzgerald & Clark, 2011). The ministry of healthcare focuses on providing quality primary healthcare through numerous health centers across the kingdom (Niblock, 2015).
MOH has integrated key policies which have aimed at creating an improved environment where it would be possible to achieve a high quality of healthcare. The established policies have integrated aspects in healthcare where important procedures are implemented accordingly. One of these policies is Saudi health information exchange authentication policy in which data processing system can by only accessed by authorized entities in authorized ways (MOH, 2018b). The implementation of eHealth strategy and electronic health records across the country have transformed healthcare to an improved level. Advanced information technology need administrative policies including usage, security and privacy requirements for each system. E-medical services in clinics and hospitals have been made possible creating a greater level of achieving positive understanding of quality healthcare delivery. The application of technology within healthcare environment focuses on important elements such as complicated procedures and management of patient information which improve quality of healthcare (Walston, Al-Harbi & Al-Omar, 2008).
Also, private health institutions policy in which these institutions should be owned by Saudi physicians and corporative health insurance policy in which health insurance is provided to Saudi citizens and non-Saudis (MOH, 2018a). Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCFHS) have established some important and well recognized policies such as professional registration, classification and institution accreditation as well as credentialing (SCFHS, 2018). Cardiovascular procedures, organ transplants, cancer treatments taking into consideration bone marrow transplants are fully covered by the government. Employers are responsible for providing an extensive package for private sector expatriates who are entitled to quality healthcare (Felemban et al., 2017). All healthcare settings are required to achieve effective and comprehensive performance as well as quality reporting which should be supported in up to date policies (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia vision 2030, 2016a).
Saudi Arabia has integrated Saudi Vision 2030 as ambitious plan which is aimed at transforming the country from oil-dependent economy to a diverse economy. The Saudi Vision 2030 aims to acheive a higher level of success and improvements of economic growth. Improvements in economic growth is related to quality of healthcare in many aspects including education, employment, equity, SMEs and women contributions (Kingdom of Saudi Arabia vision 2030, 2016b). The success of Saudi Vision 2030 in future depends on establishing and updating policies to ensure effective implementations in order to improve the existing efforts that have been put in place limiting the dependence on crude oil. The policies include healthcare quality that focus on different aspects such as healthcare technology, health insurance, credentialing and accreditation.
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