If you are living with your family in Saudi Arabia and your wife is expecting, you will be thinking where to plan the delivery of your child. Normally expatriates living in Saudi Arabia, try to plan delivery in Saudi Arabia but you should consider some very important points mentioned below before making this decision. If your child is born in Saudi Arabia, you must follow a certain procedure to get him registered under your Iqama. This procedure is explained in this article.
Medical Insurance: Medical care in Saudi Arabia is very expensive nowadays. The days have passed when the government used to bear the burden of delivery expenses in government hospitals for expatriates. Now, you need to have insurance of your wife if you are planning for delivery in Saudi Arabia. If you have family status, normally employers make insurance card of your whole family. But still, you need to consider, up to what extent your insurance company is bearing the expense. Some insurance companies require you to pay a certain percentage of every bill from your own pocket. You need to be sure about your insurance policy. There is no question of planning delivery in Saudi Arabia if you don’t have insurance.
Selection of Hospital: If your wife is medically insured, next step is the selection of hospital. I would suggest you select a hospital for the delivery, not a polyclinic. Yes, polyclinics are bit cheaper as compare to hospitals but they lack many good facilities. You should select a medium level hospital for the delivery. Even if a high-class hospital is on the panel of the insurance company, you should not select this. It happened to my friend in Jeddah that he went to IMC hospital for the delivery of his child. His insurance company was covering SR 15,000 but total bill was around SR 22,000/-. So, he had to pay additional SR 7,000/- from his own pocket. Normally, all up to date medical facilities are available in bigger hospitals of Saudi Arabia. There is another important factor which should be considered while selecting the hospital and it is a doctor. We have discussed in detail about it in the next paragraph. You can also check the “list of Best Gynecologists in Riyadh” for the selection of hospital.
Preference of Doctor: Choice of doctor is another important factor in determining the hospital. In this regard, you should contact your friends and colleagues of the same nationality. Ask them about a good doctor of your nationality in some hospital. I am emphasizing for the same nationality so that your wife feel comfortable in describing the problems she has. Keep it in mind; even if your wife is good in English, the doctor is not necessarily good in English. We have provided a list of good gynecologists in Riyadh below under the heading of Related Articles.
Maternity Care after Birth: Please keep in mind that this is not your native country where you have so many relatives and friends to take care of your wife. This is a foreign country and you need someone to take of your wife even after the delivery of the child. Caesarean operations are very common nowadays. You should know that it is very difficult for wives to stay at home alone.
Maternity Leave: Normally companies give only 3 days leave to the male worker as it is allowed by the Saudi labor law. However, 10 weeks of leaves are given to the female workers according to the labor law. If you need to know in detail about the leaves allowed under Saudi Labor Law, please read this article. In this case, you may have to take some additional leaves from the company. The other option is to bring someone from the relatives of your wife from your native country on visit visa to take care of her. This is not a big deal. Normally expatriates ask mother-in-law to come to Saudi Arabia to take care of her daughter. If you need detail to apply for visit visa, please read this article.
Other Pros and Cons: If you are thinking that like many European and American countries, having a birth in the Saudi Arabia will get child nationality, you are just dreaming. Your child will not be Saudi national if you are not Saudi national. He will remain an Iqama holder even if he spends his whole life in the Saudi Arabia. If your child is born in your native country, you need a lot of documents to be attested by many authorities to get him under your sponsorship. But if he is born in Saudi Arabia, the requirements it is not a very difficult job to get him under your sponsorship. To know about the details of registering the child under your Iqama, please read this article.