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The personal and workplace characteristics of uninsured expatriate males in Saudi Arabia.

Alkhamis, Abdulwahab, Cosgrove, Peter, Mohamed, Gamal and Hassan, Amir (2017) 'The personal and workplace characteristics of uninsured expatriate males in Saudi Arabia.'. BMC Health Services Research, Vol 17, Issue 56.

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A major concern by the health decision makers in Gulf Cooperative Council (GCC) countries is the burden of financing healthcare. While other GCC countries have been examining different options, Saudi Arabia has endeavoured to reform its private healthcare system and control expatriate access to government resources through the provision of Compulsory Employment-Based Health Insurance (CEBHI). The objective of this research was to investigate, in a natural setting, the characteristics of uninsured expatriates based on their personal and workplace characteristics.


Using a cross-sectional survey, data were collected from a sample of 4,575 male expatriate employees using a multi-stage stratified cluster sampling technique. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize all variables, and the dependent variable was tabulated by access to health insurance and tested using Chi-square. Logistic analysis was performed, guided by the conceptual model.


Of survey respondents, 30% were either uninsured or not yet enrolled in a health insurance scheme, 79.4% of these uninsured expatriates did not have valid reasons for being uninsured, with Iqama renewal accounting for 20.6% of the uninsured. The study found both personal and workplace characteristics were important factors influencing health insurance status. Compared with single expatriates, married expatriates (accompanied by their families) are 30% less likely to be uninsured. Moreover, workers occupying technical jobs requiring high school level of education or above were two-thirds more likely to be insured compared to unskilled workers. With regard to firm size, respondents employed in large companies (more than 50 employees) are more likely to be insured compared to those employed in small companies (less than ten employees). In relation to business type, the study found that compared to workers from the agricultural sector, industrial/manufacturing, construction and trading sectors, workers were, respectively, 76%, 85%, and 60% less likely to be uninsured.


Although the CEBHI is mandatory, this study found that the characteristics of uninsured expatriates, in respect of their personal and workplace characteristics have similarities with the uninsured from other private employment-sponsored health insurance schemes. Other factors influencing access to health insurance, besides employee and workplace characteristics, include the development and extent of the country’s insurance industry.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: WA Public Health > WA 20.5 Research (General)
WA Public Health > WA 30 Socioeconomic factors in public health (General)
WA Public Health > Health Administration and Organization > WA 540 National and state health administration
Faculty: Department: Groups (2002 - 2012) > Professional Services
Digital Object Identifer (DOI):
SWORD Depositor: JISC Pubrouter
Depositing User: JISC Pubrouter
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2017 14:06
Last Modified: 06 Feb 2018 13:14


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