Prince Sultan Military Medical City
Prince Sultan Hospital & Rehabilitation Center, Al-Hada, Taif, Saudi Arabia
The Al-Hada/Taif Hospital Project comprises four medical care facilities: Al-Hada hospital, the Taif Rehabilitation Center, and two primary care outpatients clinics. These facilities are collectively referred to as HHRC (Al Hada Hospital Rehabilitation Center) and are administered by the Medical Services Department (MSD) of the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Defense and Aviation (MODA).
Al Hada Hospital is a 400 bed acute care facility located in Al Hada Valley, about 10 miles northwest of Taif. The Rehabilitation Center is a 100 bed facility located in the city of Taif, about a 120 minute drive from Al Hada Hospital. The two primary care clinics are situated on opposite sides of the Taif Airbase (some 12/15 miles northwest of Taif), close to the commercial airport. One is known as the Residential Clinic and the other as the Airbase Clinic.
These hospitals and clinics serve members of the Royal Family as well as uniformed military personnel, their dependents, other entitled personnel. Each year, in the summer, the Royal Family and the Government of Saudi Arabia move from Riyadh, the nation's capital, to the cooler mountain climate of Taif. With Taif this serving as the unofficial "Summer Capital" of Saudi Arabia, the new Al Hada Hospital has developed special capabilities to provide medical services for the Royal Family in addition to serving MODA's military and other entitled personnel.
All four HHRC facilities opened in June 1980. Initial services provided at the Al Hada Hospital include M/S, obstetrics, paediatrics, ENT, orthopaedics, outpatient services, ICU/CCU, and Infant ICU. These services have been expanded regularly in the past three years and new departments have been added, including haemodialysis, a burn centre, CT full body scanning, cardio angiography, and others.
Al Hada Hospital is programmed to specialize in reconstructive surgery, burn treatment, plastic surgery, cornea transplantation and advanced medical services for eye treatment. Referrals between the hospital and rehabilitation centre provide patients with the appropriate care and treatment for their recovery period and subsequent return to normal activities.
Al Hada Valley lies on the Western more precipitous edge of the Hijaz escarpment at an elevation of some 2,100 metres (nearly 7,000). Taif is 16 kms (10 miles) down a southeastern slope of the range and is about 6,000 feet in elevation. Newcomers, especially those how have been living at sea level, generally experience some shortness of breath, listlessness and headaches until their bodies adjust to the higher altitude.
The mountains are rocky and semi-barren, although there are pockets of fairly dense growth. Among the more common flowers and trees found in this area are gladiolus, violets. Acacia, cypress and juniper. Porcupine, baboons, goats and of course, camels are the area's prevalent animals.
Taif if about 160 kms (100 miles) east and a little south of Jeddah and 88 kms (55 miles) above Mecca. One section of the Jeddah-Taif highway bypasses Mecca, which only Muslims may enter. Riyadh is 900 kms (560 miles) northeast of Taif. The drive from Jeddah to Taif can take anything from 2 to 2 ½ or three hours. At the summit you enter Al Hada Valley and thus see Al Hada Hospital before Taif when you make the drive up the mountain from Jeddah.
The current year round population of Taif is estimated at 220,000, a figure that may well double during the summer months, when Taif serves as the Kingdom's capital and most popular resort for Saudis seeking relief from the heat below.
Summer temperatures in the Taif area generally range from 17 or 18C (62-64F) to 31 or 32C (88-90F). Winters here are also mild with temperatures ranging from 14C (57F) to around 25C (79F). There is a clear, rarefied atmosphere and the humidity is normally quite low in spite of some rainfall.
The map shows the relative locations of Al Hada Hospital, the Rehabilitation Center, and the two Airbase clinics. It is a drive of 15 to 20 minutes from Al Hada Hospital to the Rehabilitation Center and another 10 to 15 minutes ride from Rehab to the centre town. The Airbase clinics are nearly 20 miles northeast of Taif, about half and hour's drive from either downtown or the Rehab Center.
Taif is a mountain town, nestled within the canyons and gorges of the rugged Hujaz range. It is a genuine mountain oasis with cool, clean air, breathtaking landscape, grand sunrises and sunsets. There are some nice, stately areas: tree-lined, paved streets dividing magnificent walled in villa estates, smartly uniformed guards at their gates. A number of truly handsome government buildings enhance the city and in the centre of the town there is a great new mosque, which has become one of the top architectural landmarks in all Saudi Arabia.
You don't feel the internationalism here that predominates the atmosphere of a Jeddah or the East meets West sensation that permeates Dhahran or Al Khobar. Here you sense that you have truly entered the inner Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the house of Saudi.
This stems partially from the fact that during the summer months, Taif actually is the House of Saudi. King Fahd and his family, the head of the government Ministries, most of whom are Princes (brothers, half-brothers, first cousins), all spend the summer months on Taif's cool mountains, high above the scorching dry heat of the desert below or the torrid, muggy heat of the coastal towns.
Contract and Benefit Information
Accompanied/unaccompanied status contract depending on position's grade. All nurses, RTs, physiotherapists, medical secretaries, are on unaccompanied status.
- Contract, 2 year and often renewable.
- Air transport, economy class, from point-of-hire to Jeddah for initial mobilization
- End of contract entitlements consisting of one half month salary for each year worked.
- Ticketing/Travel Allowance, a return ticket to point-of-hire- at the end of the contract.
- Vacation, 45 days per year (50 days for physicians)
- Housing, including utilities, appliances, linens, etc. provided.
- Uniforms, provided.
- Transportation, from hospital to housing and back and shopping trips provided.
- Medical care and emergency dental care normally provided at the hospital
- Access to subsidized meals in Hospital project cafeterias.
- Emergency Leave, available.
- Salary paid in local currency by end of each Gregorian month.
- This income is Take Home pay since there are No Taxes in Saudi Arabia.
For Canadian tax you need to establish a "Non-Resident Status". To qualify, generally, you should be leaving with the intention of being away for two years during which you need to sever primary ties with Canada. Please, contact Revenue Canada for further tax information. There is a form (Determination of Residency Status (Leaving Canada)) you may want to complete, to know your residency status for Canadian tax purposes before you leave to Saudi Arabia. Call 1-800-267-5177.