Providing orphans with free access to healthcare

15 November 2017 . Saudi Arabia

Access to quality healthcare is limited and unaffordable for the more than 3,000 children living as orphans across Saudi Arabia.

Holding hands

That’s why Bupa Arabia has provided free healthcare and insurance to all orphans living in foster homes in Saudi Arabia since 2011, making a huge difference to their health and wellbeing and their lives overall.

“When you meet an orphan, the first thing that comes to mind is that it could have been me, or my child if circumstances changed.” said Loay Nazer, Chairman of Bupa Arabia.

“What would society do for them if I was gone and what is my responsibility since I am here?”

The programme aims to make access to healthcare easy – an idea that, for orphans and their carers, previously seemed impossible.

The programme includes: providing the children with full medical coverage so they can get treatment in local medical facilities; preliminary checkups at enrolment into the programme; foster home visits; a dedicated helpline for easy communication; and unique membership cards with additional benefits.

The children are the only ones that can access the helpline, which is open 24/7 and ensures their calls are answered before any other. With their membership cards, the Bupa Arabia team can track them from the moment they walk into a hospital and make sure they are treated quickly and get the exceptional quality of care they deserve.

Exceptional is what the programme aims to be. The children’s coverage goes beyond traditional insurance policies, providing coverage for all dental and optical procedures, with exceptions also being made to cover treatment not included on their policies where necessary.

And with a programme that allows Bupa Arabia doctors to visit orphans at home, it’s about more than just reactive healthcare.

Medical Director Dr. Ayman AlSulaimani added: “Many of these children were neglected early in life. They have scars and other physical problems that cause them pain and bring down their self-confidence.

“That’s why we often grant special coverage to treat these problems. Giving them back some confidence helps them grow into happy, healthy adults.

 “Our doctors and nurses visit every foster home at least once a year to provide full check-ups and teach the children about living healthy lives.”

What started as an effort between a few colleagues has grown into a collaborative effort across Bupa Arabia. Human connection is infectious, and every year there are more people from different departments contributing their specialty skills and services to the programme.

“I can’t think of a better feeling than to see the smile on the children’s faces,” added Malath Bayoumi, CSR & Communications Manager, Bupa Arabia.

“The children were born into difficult situations. We as a business community and as human beings can make a real difference in their lives.

“We want to empower them today to live longer, healthier, happier lives – so they can fulfil their potential and create for our tomorrow.”