A Saudi businesswoman who wants to bring hospitals to homes

Kholoud Al-Harbi is a successful Saudi businesswoman who owns Ethar Medical Care Co. She is also vice president of the sector’s trade group, the Saudi Home Care Association.
Al-Harbi was able to combine her practical experience in the field of intensive care with a master’s in medical research at the UK’s University of Manchester Salford. Her background and administrative skills were key to helping her launch a business specialized in home medical care, which she believes distinguishes her company from others in the sector.

Al-Harbi told Arab News: “We were able to get out of the stereotypical concept of home medical care to another unique concept that medical expertise can be provided anywhere with the same quality that is provided in the hospital. This saves a lot of effort, time, and also money.”

She added: “Ethar aims to be a pioneer in the field of home medical care through its team, which is characterized by diverse and unique experiences. We can change the prevailing concept of home care and expand it to include all members of society. We want to expand our geographical scope to include all regions of the Kingdom.”

Al-Harbi is keen to stress the importance of women in the sector but believes women can contribute much more to the current economic renaissance in Saudi Arabia, adding because females constitute half of Saudi society it follows that half of society’s productivity could be attributable to their efforts.

She said the vision for Saudi Arabia put forward by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, particularly in the legal initiatives and reforms that have taken place, has been integral the economic renaissance that has taken place in the Kingdom.

Al-Harbi emphasized the availability of training for both genders in the Kingdom, which allow everyone to participate in the labor market, particularly programs that help provide flexible environments to enable women to work. She has also worked with the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development on several initiatives to increase women’s economic participation, by encouraging remote working and flexible work.

Al-Harbi said the government’s interest in helping women into leadership positions had contributed to opening many opportunities in the business sector. The vision has made empowering Saudi women a priority, as it aims to raise the rate of women’s participation in the labor market from 22 percent to 30 percent by 2030. She said along with increasing opportunities for Saudi women to enter into the work force, and providing greater opportunities for leadership roles, there were also many more Saudi women entrepreneurs establishing and growing businesses in the Kingdom.