Finding work in the medical field in Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia is currently undergoing a period of immense change and growth. The Saudi Vision Plan for 2030 is an ambitious blueprint set out by the government to end the countries reliance on the Oil Industry and diversify how the country operates. Already one of the world’s richest countries Saudi Arabia wants to take a new economic path and ensure its growth in a number of other fields such as education, engineering and medicine.

As a result of this new vision the Government has given high priority to the development of health care services at all levels throughout the country. In recent decades the health of the Saudi population has greatly increased. The government has recognised and understood the value of having a healthy population and as such seeks out the best healthcare professionals available to ensure their vision is realised.

Quite simply, the opportunities for doctors and nurses to work in Saudi Arabia are fantastic. For some it is the chance to earn a tax-free income, for others the opportunity to live and work in a completely different country and culture. The diversity of careers and lifestyle opportunities available range from large hospitals in the major cities to hospitals in regional locations, all providing a wide spectrum of clinical and social experiences.

For those looking for doctor and nurse jobs in Saudi Arabia it is important to understand how the country operates its medical facilities. The Ministry of Health operates 62% of the hospitals and 53% of the clinics and centres; the remaining facilities are operated by government agencies, including the Ministry of Defence, the National Guard, the Ministry of the Interior, and several other ministries, as well as by private entities.

In terms of lifestyle and culture Saudi Arabia remains a conservative country with everyday life governed by firm Islamic beliefs and traditions. Prayer is a central pillar of Islamic and therefore Saudi life with Muslims praying 5 times a day. This means the working day is interrupted in order to allow time to pray with changes to the working hours common during the Holy month of Ramadan. As an expat looking for work in the country it is important to understand and respect the Saudi way of life.

Before applying for doctor jobs in Saudi Arabia all candidates must go through a process known as Dataflow to verify their qualifications. This crucial letter of authorisation is also required for those applying for nurse jobs in Saudi Arabia and applications will not even be considered until it is obtained.

As well as a Dataflow letter of authorisation a Saudi work visa is essential for anyone entering the country in order to work in the medical field. These can only be obtained with a confirmed job offer and sponsorship from an employer. It is not possible to simply arrive in Saudi Arabia and begin looking for work.

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