Subscribe to SmallPlanet

We Need Your Help

Five stars on Amazon! Don't miss Talesmag's first book of essays, on cross-cultural food experiences from Mexico to Mongolia (plus recipes!)
Submit a Real Post Report


Are there any particular health concerns? What is the quality of available medical care? What medical conditions typically require medical evacuation?

The sand in the air is unhealthy and contributes to upper respiratory ailments. I was admitted to a private Saudi hospital three times while in Riyadh (for the same problem), and had two surgeries, and the hospital, quality of care and doctors were all excellent. It was also a very interesting cultural experience ;-). - Oct 13, 2017
The dust can be pretty bad and contributes to respiratory issues (air purifier/humidifier helps). Medical care is of good quality though the bureaucracy at the hospitals may drive you nuts! I was pregnant here and the care was fine if different than in the States. This probably goes across the board -- then again, you're in a foreign country so it will for sure be different than in America. The Health Unit can help in a pinch but the doctor is often away from post. - Jan 19, 2017
The major health concerns are upper-respiratory diseases and conjunctivitis (because of the dry climate), especially during sandstorm season. There are excellent Saudi hospitals but diplomats have no access to them. There is an excellent and ultra-modern facility called Kingdom Hospital that can handle even difficult cases. They do accept the Embassy health plan (sign up with BlueCross BlueShield before you arrive). there are good Western dentists. - May 20, 2016
Yes. TB, MERS, Hep B/C, and others. - Nov 9, 2015
Dust allergies, MERS recently. Medical care is okay but not up to western standards. - Oct 27, 2015
Ok medical care. Health concerns from sandstorms - asthma. Nosebleeds from the extremely dry weather. buy the best humidifier you can for bedrooms. - Oct 15, 2015
Good medical care and hospitals in the cities. - Jan 23, 2015
Embassy MED is good. Air quality is not great as it's the desert. - Sep 28, 2014
The sand in the air is unhealthy and contributes to upper respiratory ailments. It's my understanding that the hospitals we use are first class. - Mar 26, 2014
The Health Unit at the Embassy has identified medical facilities that can handle most of our needs. Upper respiratory is a huge issue here due to the dryness and the sandstorms. - Dec 4, 2013
No, health care is fine here. - Oct 9, 2013
Medical care is patchy at best. For anything important/complex, you'd best leave the country. There is a wide variety of prescription drugs available cheaply and without a prescription. - Mar 17, 2013
Medical care seems above average. Allergies to dust are a real concern. - Apr 7, 2011
Strong medical facilities with western-trained doctors and nurses are available at the major hospitals. - Jul 27, 2010
Medical care isn't very good unless you're a wealthy Saudi or have some connections. I've heard some real horror stories. Best bet is to load yourself on a plane and get out of here. That's what the Saudis do if they can! - Mar 29, 2010
The pharmacies seem well stocked. - Jan 18, 2010
The dust and dryness gave me and everyone else horrid nosebleeds. The doctors seemed to be alright from what I heard - but I didn't have to see anyone outside the embassy. - Dec 29, 2009
Excellent health care. - Oct 21, 2008
A little sandy some days, above average health care. - Aug 6, 2008