File - A foreign woman waits at the entrance of a hospital in the center of the capital Riyadh, on May 14, 2013. (AFP PHOTO/FAYEZ NURELDINE)
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Stock market listings planned by two of Saudi Arabia's biggest private hospital operators point to a boom in its health care industry, as political pressures prompt the government to pour huge sums into the underdeveloped sector.Health care has lagged, partly because of government inefficiency and bureaucracy.This may change as the government ramps up health care budgets.Today, the overwhelming majority, about 83 percent, of Saudi Arabia's 8.4 million health insurance holders are expatriates whose employers are legally obliged to cover their insurance costs, according to Arqaam.Today, 20 percent of workers at health care companies are required to be Saudi citizens.While the overall stock market has risen 16 percent since June, shares in Dallah are up just 11 percent, and National Medical Care has lost 8 percent.
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