Faisal Banjar (the founder of Arabian Gulf Medical Tourism Agency) secured an important contract with the 600 bed Dr Soliman Hospital. This contract was set in place to bring foreign patients for treatment and to take advantage of the $400 billion a year from the medical tourism industry.
One and half years after the set, Banjar is still waiting to bring his first client to the hospital and within these month, his work was mainly centred around Turkey and Germany. He has in total set about 20 Saudis.
Medical tourism in general looks at patients actively seeking low cost medical care which is not available in their country. It focuses on a specific care. This however, does not include accidents nor illness that require medical treatment while abroad.
“Visas are hard to come by for people to visit Saudi Arabia for medical treatment” Banjar.
One of the handful business in Saudi (which offers both international and domestic medical liaison services between Saudis and foreign patients and hospitals) is the Arabian Gulf Medical Tourism. Most of their clients are Saudi nationals that seek medical attention from countries but quite a few foreigners seek help from Saudi
According to the Medical Tourism Index, the Saudi Medical Tourism is ranked 37th among the desired countries. Canada is currently leading then followed by United Kingdom. Singapore is on third position then India.
One of the major drawbacks of receiving a steady flow of foreign patients and services is the Saudi medical visas.