An analysis by the daily newspaper Al-Eqtisadiah showed an increase in total spending on healthcare at a CAGR of 2%, in line with the growing population, as it rose from SAR141bn in 2015 to SAR150bn in 2018.
The increase in spending in Saudi Arabia is due to population growth, changes in demographics, changes in lifestyle and associated diseases.
According to the analysis, which was based on data of the Ministry of Finance and the prospectus for the Dr. Sulaiman Al Habib Group for Health Services, government spending constituted 75% of this, while non-governmental spending accounted for the remaining 25%.
Government spending on the health and social development sector decreased by 0.4% in 2019 to SAR174bn, and is expected to decrease by 4% in 2020 to SAR167bn, in light of the government's move to allow a greater role for private players in the sector.
In addition, the implementation of compulsory health insurance has increased spending on healthcare services and increased the capacity of healthcare facilities to keep pace with demand for their services.
The demand for private healthcare is expected to rise, driven by plans aimed at expanding the coverage of insurance to include new segments of the population, such as domestic workers.
Moreover, the Cooperative Health Insurance Council has announced the completion of the integrated database in cooperation with the General Organisation for Social Insurance, which requires all private sector entities that have not provided insurance for their employees to do so.