MOH News

Primary health services are below required levels, says Al-Obeid
11 June 2007
The MOH Undersecretary for Planning and Development Dr. Obeid S. Al-Obeid said family medicine and health centers are defined as the basis of health services by the Council of Health Services. Talking about primary health services in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in a speech delivered in front of the Sixth GCC Conference on Primary Health Care, he said the services provided by any health center are proportional to the population served by the center. He said the centers usually serves remote population groups and are supported by different specialties (a dentist, a number of nurses, a lab technician, a midwife, etc).
He said family medicine clinics serve population groups which are below 1000 in size. They provide basic services and include only one doctor, two male and female nurses, and a guard. The trend at MOH is towards more specialization of hospitals and concentration on primary health services. Many Health centers must be established in a number of areas because shortage of health services will force people to consult hospitals. Also, many health centers require redistribution in accordance with actual need.
Referring to a study conducted by Dr. Ridha Khalil on reorganizing the health system, Dr. Al-Obeid said the study found the provided services as being below required levels. A high percentage of the health centers are hired and not prepared. The increasing rate of health centers during the period from 1421 to 1425 has been below the ambitions of MOH.
He obstacles involved in primary health care services according to Dr. Al-Obeid are lack of a separate budget for primary health care, weakness of infrastructure, division of services in the health system as a whole, weak relations with higher levels of health services, lack of specialists in primary health care, lack of interaction among service providers in the health centers and between them and workers at hospitals, lack of service provision outside working hours, lack of effective information system with respect to medical registers and relations with other hospitals, lack of quality control measures and applications, lack of work guides and procedures, lack of community interaction with provided services, concentration on diagnosis and treatment without paying enough care to the preventive aspect, bad distribution of support services, weakness of quality and control, and dependence on foreign staff. 
He concluded his speech by providing examples from others countries. 

Last Update : 12 April 2011 09:50 PM
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