Healthcare information for expatriates Living in the Middle East

The Middle East has a large population of expats from around the world. This transcontinental region has rapidly growing economies linking to oil, tourism, and finance. As such, modern, high tech hospitals stand erect along with professional staff, all catering to the growing population of global citizens. Although universal care is available, we advise expats traveling to the Middle East to get international health insurance. Here’s what you need to know about the Middle East healthcare system and insurance options for expats.

The region is filled with a rich history as expats and travelers can explore the paved flagstones of the Roman era, Ancient Egypt ruins, and many more. Moreover, you are surrounded by the world’s oldest cities to coffeeshops and greeted by hospitable people. The architecture is inspiring, and the bazaars are vibrant.

Apart from the city, there is an amalgamation of the wilderness. From the Nile River to the Sahara, lush greeneries to snow-capped mountains in Turkey, and the Red Sea, there is so much to explore in the Middle East.

Healthcare Systems in Various Middle Eastern Countries for Expatriates

IsraelSaudi Arabia – QatarKuwaitCyprus

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Understanding the Middle East Healthcare System for Expatriates

The healthcare system in each country in the Middle East varies. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the UAE ranks 27 in the world for its health system. With an excellent distribution of finance in its healthcare system, the United Arab Emirates has a good ratio of doctors to patients. That’s 2.5 to every thousand people. Additionally, there are about 70 hospitals and 150 clinics for a relatively small population. These hospitals and clinics have outstanding facilities, making the country competent in healthcare infrastructure.

On the other hand, Egypt has a core public health system, but locals and expats opt for the private health care system. You’re most likely to find better treatment facilities in the major cities and tourist resorts, as medical facilities outside of these areas can be average. Most expats and affluent citizens prefer to get treatments in the UAE or Dubai as they have access to an excellent level of care. However, most hospitals require you to pay upfront. Hence we advise expats and digital nomads to access treatment through the network of the insurance companies. It will help in keeping a low out-of-pocket expense.

When it comes to Qatar, it has one of the highest doctor-patient ratios in the world. It is over seven doctors per thousand population. Furthermore, Qatar also has a hi-tech health care system. With international doctors and staff, expats won’t have to worry about language barriers.

Expats traveling to Bahrain, however, should have comprehensive international health insurance. There is a struggle in the healthcare system, but through years of investments, Bahrain is catching up in terms of infrastructure. However, there are a few well-equipped private hospitals, state hospitals, and a couple of maternity centers.

The bottom line for medical services in the Middle East is that the more deloped countries in the region can deliver extremely good care, but it will be expensive. If you are in a country that is less developed, medical care may be substandard and you will probably need medical evacuation coverage.

Emergency Assistance in the Middle East:

Bahrain: 999

Cyprus: 112

Egypt: 123 (Ambulance), 180 (Fire), 122 (Police)

Iran: 115 (Ambulance), 123 (Fire), 110 (Police)

Jordan: 191 (Ambulance), 193 (Fire), 192 (Police)

Kuwait: 777

Lebanon: 112

Oman: 999

Qatar: 999

Saudi Arabia: 997 (Ambulance), 998 (Fire),  999 (Police)

Turkey: 101, 112 (Ambulance),102 (Fire), 100 (Police)

United Arab Emirates: 998, 999

Yemen: 191(Ambulance), 191 (Fire), 194 (Police)

Health Insurance for International Citizens in the Middle East

If you are an expat, digital nomad, or a global citizen moving to the Middle East, there are several healthcare plans available in these countries. But to be on a safer side, you can go for a comprehensive global healthcare plan instead. These are mostly private international medical plans that help you deal with all kinds of healthcare expenses in the Middle East as well as across the globe. These plans also come with the option to change your host country. Some of the best international health insurance policies are Cigna Global Medical. We always recommend that you secure your coverage in your home country even before moving overseas. It will help you mitigate unexpected health expenses abroad.

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