Transforming a health care system for 35 Million Saudis

Saudi Arabia has initiated what may be the most ambitious transformation ever of a health care system. The ambition is to offer high quality, cost effective and equal healthcare to all citizens by 2030.

Sweden was identified as a model system to be inspired by and Skåne Care was contracted as the only government to government advisors to the Saudi Ministry of Health and their Vision Realization Office (VRO). Starting 2019, we’ve been tasked as “critical best friends” acting as senior advisors at the highest Vice President level providing full time on site Subject Matter Experts with various areas of expertise from the Swedish health care system: Primary Care, Finance, IT and e-health, Communication, Health Care Leadership and Advanced Medical Strategies as well as general insights in Governance and Health Care System Design. Embedded in the local leadership Skåne Care have assisted the process both at central level in the capital Riyadh and in the business hubs and clusters around the country.

The future of healthcare in Saudi Arabia is being transformed from a centralised system to accountable care organisations. The changing demographics and health needs of an ageing population means the demands on healthcare provision are shifting. There is an increasing need for preventative approaches, education and efficient and effective treatment pathways for major non-communicable diseases. Conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer are rapidly rising, and the current healthcare structure is unable to adequately cope with patient numbers and demands.

The unique access to all facets of the Swedish public health care system combined with high flexibility in shifting resources as demand developed both on site and back office were key factors for the successful collaboration. Drawing from the network of generalists and specialists Skane Care could funnel a wealth of experience through a cost-efficient focused team:

Consultants from Skåne Care Thomas Elger and Patrik Hansson

“Working in collaboration with the government through the Ministry of Health provides their leaders with access to the extensive Swedish healthcare evidence and best practice – both the success and the failures. Our consultants present the operational and practical application of evidence-based approaches and the Saudi authorities can adopt and fine tune these to local needs.
Our consultants in Riyadh work directly with executive leaders of the healthcare transformation programme on a national level. But healthcare is an ecosystem where everything must come together to work. The Swedish model is not going to work 100% in a Saudi context so our role is to help them navigate and apply solutions that will work with patient and doctor behaviour while also strategically shifting the approach.”

CEO Mikael Rosén