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Patient Prescription Meds
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Hey guys. I attempted to search older posts for a similar thread but wasn't able to come up with anything. Just the same I apologize if this happens to be a repost. Basically I've decided that one of…Continue

Started this discussion. Last reply by Skip Kirkwood Feb 15, 2013.


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Primary Agency/Department Type
Paid Fire/EMS Department
Primary Department/Agency Name
Massachusetts Paramedic
Years in EMS/Public Safety

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At 12:26pm on August 7, 2012, Douglas Zalud said…

I had never heard of KAUST until I got your message. Googled it and saw what they are. Interesting. Doesn't really sound like you will be doing anything, unless you end up doing sick call in their clinic.

Jeddah isn't a bad place. It's almost as hot there, as it is here in Riyadh. Humidity is a bit higher, too, since you are near the water. But, looking at the map, it doesn't seem like you will be in the city. It says you are 50 miles away. That could leave you out in the middle of nowhere in this country, with limited options for everything.


You are going to be on a tax-free status, right? What else are they paying for? Don't forget, there is a big difference in take-home pay here. You won't have any taxes deducted. No SSI. No insurance. No union dues. Nothing.

Then, you won't be paying rent, or utilities. If you have transportation provided, you won't have a car payment (here, at least), gas, or insurance. So, all you will need to spend your money on is food, cell phone minutes, wifi, and whatever else you want.

Suddenly, that low-ball 4K/month isn't too bad sounding now, is it? LOL.

But cheer up. You'll be getting 4K/month to pretty much sit on your ass and vegitate. At least they are affiliated with CCF. That's a nice thing. I'm originally from Cleveland, and am very familiar with the Clinic. Pretty good place. Their ED sucked, but maybe that was because we always transported shit into them, and not the royals that go to the other sections of the hospital.

Is this a one year contract? Mine is a one year, auto-renewing contract. I have to give 90 days notice prior to leaving. But after the first year, my contract says that I can leave at any time, after I give 90 days notice. I'd say that if they are paying your air fare to/from KSA, giving you decent vacation, and include con-ed, that would be pretty good. If they give you a mid-year ticket also, that's a big score. Here, only nurses rate that.

Let me know. Doesn't sound like too bad of a place to be. But then again, I got the same impression about here also. LOL.

At 6:38pm on July 30, 2012, Douglas Zalud said…

I've been here since April 2011. I want to stay for two more years, if possible, to build up my savings. Unfortunately, the Saudi Council is refusing to grant me a license because my medic classes from years ago were not a continuous one year course of study. They were two semesters. Because I don't have the Saudi Council license yet, I cannot get my iqama (work permit) renewed. This means that I could get thrown out of the country. The Saudis want to try and run things different from the rest of the sane world. So far, I am waiting to see if they will grant me a waiver, and grandfather me in.

This place is all about who you know, and what they owe you. Wasta it's called. Having clout with someone else to get favors done for you.

We call Saudi the "Magic Kingdom" because all of your dreams can come true, as well as your nightmares. LOL. The bottom line is that you should only come here to make money, and take care of the patient you have at the moment. Otherwise, your head will explode with the way things go on around here. We have 11 medics from around the world here. With the exception of the three Saudi medics, we are all on the same page. Our former American Chief was let go because of a personality conflict with the Saudi Medical Director. Now, they are changing everything that he put in place to make this a western 911 service. They are going backwards to ways that did not work previously. They don't really care. Everything is "InshAllah," "it is God's will." Basically, an excuse for not doing something, or taking responsibility for your actions.

We do everything on the call. EVERYTHING. The only thing our Saudi EMT's do is drive us, and translate. They really don't assist with patient care, make up  the cot, or help transfer the patient to the bed. As soon as we arrive back at the hospital, they take off to go smoke and joke with the other Saudis. They are just spoiled children. Discipline doesn't do anything. They just file a complaint against us, and it becomes our fault. A Saudi is never wrong to another Saudi, but a Westerner is always in the wrong if a mistake is made.

The money is only a little better than what I made back home by about $5K. The real difference is  the tax-free status. In the US, I had about 55-65% of my net pay left over to spend after everything was paid. Here, the difference is that I have about 95%. Major difference.

I live on a western compound that is new. It is awesome, and makes all the difference in being here. Huge place, with a Rec hall, stores, restaurant, pools, sauna. almost everything except an ATM. All my expenses are covered except food, wifi, cell phone, and whatever else I want to spend money on. Like Cuban cigars. LOL. I'm pretty safe. It is similar to being in any big city back home. Be alert. Be smart. Don't act stupid.

I was never military. Fire and EMS services only, so I never got to travel. This is my first time outside of CONUS, and it is very interesting. It is a real eye opener. I met my new wife here, and have been to the Philippines so far. I hope to travel to other areas once the license shit is fixed.

All in all, I would say that I have met some individual Saudis who are really great people, but as a culture, if it weren't for the oil, they would still all be living in tents and riding camels.

I sound really angry, but I am glad that I came here. When you finally learn to let go, and realize that you won't change this place, life improves. All the other Expat's I talk with are the same way. They came to earn the money, and maybe do some good. Well, they can earn the money, and just help that pt when they have control of them. Once they go, there is nothing left that they can do for them.

Sounds weird, angry, and crazy, but that describes this place. I'll leave it up to you. Good luck with your current offer.

At 2:35am on July 30, 2012, Douglas Zalud said…

Really the only thing that you can do is what you are doing here. Ask your employer/recruiter for as much info as possible about the background for the position. Are you going to be a sick call medic, or are you going to have more of a high speed/low drag job going into the field?

Another suggestion is to check out this web site. They helped me a lot with info on coming over here, and I'm straight civilian. You will want to an introduction post where indicated first, then go to the PMC forum. Great bunch of guys. Respectful if you are respectful.

Good luck.

At 7:13am on July 28, 2012, Douglas Zalud said…

Here is an article from a while back. Your best bet is to do a google search. Use the full name, as well as GSG. Also try including the following terms:  contractor. private contractor, security contractor, and so on. One of the places that I frequent have varying opinions of the company, about 50-50.

Regardless, before you go, make sure that you have all your affairs in order. It is not a picnic. If you are prior military, you understand. Otherwise, ou need to get on line and study very hard before you go to understand what you a re getting into.

Here's the link:

Good luck.

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