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A Call for Improvements in the Ministry of Health in KSA

Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeah, Minister of Health was asked by the in to get rid of the deficiencies and shortcomings of his ministry. This call was made at the Shoura Council‘s session on Monday where the performance of the public health sector was discussed by the minister. The performance of the ministry didn’t satisfy some members in the Council as they claimed that in spite of the huge budget of the ministry-SR33 billion- it has serious problems.

Members mentioned several shortages, including of essential medicines, trained technical staff, advanced technology and medical supplies. They said “The primary healthcare centers also have several complicated problems, especially lack of highly trained medical staff” explaining that the minimum specifications needed for medical centers are decreased because 81% of the primary health centers are in rented buildings.

Also they revealed that in order to receive treatments, patients in the Northern Frontier have to travel all the way to Jordan. Dr. Talal Bakri, a member of the Shoura Council commented “This is happening at a time when the ministry’s share of the state’s budget is one of the highest, in addition to the financial support given by the leadership from time-to-time”. The shortage of well-defined plans and strategies instead of personal opinions and visions considered one of the ministry critical problems. He suggested that the ministry relinquishes its hospitals to the private sector and the ministry’s budget be distributed to citizens as medical insurance.

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