Public Health Sector Privatization in Saudi Arabia

The title of the proposed investigation

To investigate the success of public health sector privatization in Saudi Arabia

Aims of the research

Though the study has been designed to test the independent and dependent variables empirically, the aims of the study include

  • To ascertain the impact of privatization of the public health sector in Saudi Arabia
  • To determine the implications of public health sector privatization on improvements of health services in Saudi Arabia

The background of the study

The study tends to examine the success of privatization of the public health sector. Privatizations of the public health sector have been undertaken to improve health care services as well as bring efficiency and effectiveness within the health care systems (Al-Ateeq, 2008). The success of privatization in the public health sector is often measured by the improved provision of health care services. The study will focus on the success of public health sector privatization in Saudi Arabia. Essentially, the study will be both empirical and theoretical. The empirical study will determine the relationship between improved health care services provision and privatization of the public health sector. Besides, the study aims to determine empirically the effectiveness of health care services resulting from the privatization of the health care sector, particularly in Saudi Arabia. Similarly, the theoretical objective of this study is to examine how the process of privatization has led to improved health care services (Al-Shaikh, 2006). Moreover, the study aims to find different approaches in the privatization of the public health sector to ensure that the appropriate privatization process is developed to help in the provision of quality health care services (Al Mazrou & Salem, 2004).

Research questions/hypothesis

Upon completion of the study, the following questions will be answered

  • What are the impacts of privatization of the public health sector in Saudi Arabia?
  • Is there any correlation between the privatization of the public health sector and the improvements in health services?

Besides, the study will test the following hypothesis

  • H1: There are positive improvements in health services due to the privatization of the public health sector
  • H0: There are negative improvements on health services due to the privatization of the public health sector

Research design and data collection

The study design

To look into the success of improvement of health care services due to privatization of public health care, this particular research study will be both empirical and secondary. The obligatory explorative data will be gathered across the study population selected through a sampling strategy. A research technique dubbed as a survey method will be drawn on while the integrated statistical analysis tools will be applied to help analyze the obtained data. Properly designed research questionnaires will be applied as the data collection instrument. Essentially, the study will apply both primary and secondary data collection methods while utilizing a survey as the main primary data collection strategy. A well-designed questionnaire will be administered to the study participants drawn from both private and public hospitals in Saudi Arabia (Jannadi, 2008).

Data collection

In this particular study, all the health services providers are deemed viable. However, only a small number of participants will be selected depending on the frequency with which they have been involved in the provision of health services or participation in health sector reforms in Saudi Arabia (Al-Yousuf et al., 2002). From the total number of the health services providers that may be sampled, just seventy hospitals will be selected via a technique dubbed as convenience simple random sampling strategy and the research questionnaire will be administered to help in addressing the formulated research questions. The selection process will be undertaken in the first month of the study, which is planned to take approximately six months.

As one of the most important studies in the public health sector, the information will be collected through administering properly designed research questionnaires, observations alongside conducting well-structured in-depth interviews to the unbiased selected participants namely private hospitals and public hospitals (Saati, 2003). The soundly designed research questionnaire will be administered to seventy hospitals including forty public hospitals and thirty privately owned health services providers. Conversely, secondary research data will be acquired from the relevant organization records and other documents, which contain information on the privatization of the public health sector. For this particular case, the study intends to trace the success of privatization of the public health sector in terms of improvements in health care services (Walston et al., 2008).

Methodology rationale

The study will be both qualitative and quantitative. The qualitative part will be based on the literature review while the quantitative will be based on data collected through a survey. The quantitative method is applied to empirically determine the correlation between the variables. The survey will consist of a questionnaire that will be administered to the population selected through a sampling procedure. The application of survey questionnaires as the most suitable method of data collection is due to its attribute of reaching the required respondents within the target group. The application of these research methods is considered to be amongst the best given that they rarely stand a chance of disqualifying any notable alternative explanations because they surmise to the event causations (Mufti, 2002). The rationale of the sampling procedure is that it gives an unbiased outcome. Moreover, in the quantitative research survey, the sampling procedure provides valid and reliable results. Therefore, the research methodologies applied in this study are considered best in attaining the desired results.

Resources and Planning

The study will require the following in terms of resources and planning

Activity Activity Resources (Time in weeks) Resources (Cost in Saudi Riyadh)
Preparation Selecting a research topic 0.5 300
Designing the research 0.5 300
Designing the study questionnaire 1 500
Acquiring the study literature 2 700
Data collection The prelude of data collection 1 600
Distribution of Questionnaires 2 1100
Conducting interviews 3 1800
Research data collection 4 2300
Data analysis The prelude of data analysis 1 600
Data analysis 4 2400
Concluding data analysis 1 600
Writing the research paper Writing the research paper 2 700
Final presentation and submission of the research paper 1 300
Total proposed research resources (time and cost) 23 12,200

The following Gantt chart illustrates the allocated resources in terms of time and costs

Jan Feb Mar April May June
Preparation Selecting a research topic and deign X
Designing the study questionnaire X
Acquiring the study literature X
Collection of Data Questionnaires distribution X
interviews X X
Data Analysis Prelude and actual data analysis X X
Conclusion of data analysis X X
Writing up First Draft X X
Reviews and feedbacks X X
Final Writing X


Like any research study, ethical issues are likely to emerge (Altuwaijri, 2008). Thus, ethical consideration is critical for this study. The ethical issues that are likely to arise include the informed consent of the participants, the power differences between the researcher and the participants, the confidentiality of the information, the confidentiality of the data collected as well as the consent of the authorities (Gallagher, 2002). All ethical issues that may arise will be given due consideration and professionally handled. In other words, looking into ways through which these ethical issues can be dealt with is critical for the success of the study.


Al Mazrou, Y & Salem , AM 2004, Primary health care guide, Ministry of Health, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Al-Ateeq, FA 2008, “Experience of Saudi Arabia in operation of public hospitals: the transition from companies’ operating system to self-operating system,” Journal of Medical Services, vol.6 no.3, pp.231-239.

Al-Shaikh, S 2006, “Saudi health care sector: need for more investment,” Saudi Medical Journal, vol.45 no.16, pp.771–778.

Altuwaijri, MM 2008, “Electronic-health in Saudi Arabia: just around the corner?” Saudi Medical Journal, vol.29 no.3,pp.171–178.

Al-Yousuf , M, Akerele, TM & Al-Mazrou YY 2002, “Organization of the Saudi health system,” Eastern Mediterranean Health Journal, vol.8 no.2, pp.4–5.

Gallagher, EB 2002, Modernization and health reform in Saudi Arabia, London, Auburn House.

Jannadi, B 2008, “Current structure and future challenges for the healthcare system in Saudi Arabia,” Asia Pacific Journal of Health Management, vol.3 no.1, pp.43–50.

Mufti, MHS 2002, Healthcare development strategies in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kluwer Academic/Plenum, New York.

Saati, A 2003, “Privatisation of public hospitals: future vision and proposed framework”, Harvard Business Review, vol. 5 no.1, pp.234-241.

Walston, S, Al-Harbi, Y & Al-Omar, B 2008, “The changing face of healthcare in Saudi Arabia,” Annals of Saudi Medicine, vol.28 no.6, pp.243–250.