OBJECTIVES: To assess the hospital beds and intensive care unit (ICU) beds with a ventilator surge capacity of the health system in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) during COVID-19 pandemic .
METHODS: This study used relevant data from the National Health Emergency Operation Center to estimate general hospital and ICU beds surge capacity and tipping points under three distinct transmission scenarios .
RESULTS: The study results reveal that hospitals in the KSA need to be supplied with additional 4,372 hospital beds to care for COVID-19 positive cases if the pandemic continues over six months period . At the same time, it requires additional 2,192 or 1,461 hospital beds if the pandemic persists over a 12- or 18-months period, respectively, to manage hospitalized COVID-19 overloads . The health system surge capacity would suffer from a shortage of 1,600 , 797, and 540 ICU beds under the three transmission scenarios to absorb critical and intensive care COVID-19 cases .
CONCLUSION: Our findings highlight the urgent need for additional hospital and ICU beds in the face of critical COVID-19 cases in KSA . The study recommends further assessment measures to the health system surge capacity to keep the Saudi health system prepared during the COVID-19 pandemic.