MOH News

Press Statement
17 July 2011

   The Ministry of Health was informed on what’s published in a number of local newspapers and some websites regarding Majlis Al-Shura members’ opinions on the annual report of the Ministry of Health during the last session of Majlis Al-Shura , which was held on Monday 4/7/2011. The Ministry would like to express its appreciation to Majlis Al-Shura for its continuous concern for healthcare services provided to the citizens and its profound support for the Ministry of Health to provide comprehensive and integrated health care in our generous country.
   While the Ministry expresses its appreciation for such published materials, it also expresses its thanks to Majlis Al-Shura for its suggestions, aiming to improve the quality of health services. The Ministry of Health is interested in any constructive criticism and inspired by principles of transparency.  MOH is keen on investing the Leadership support to meet both Leaders’ expectations and the needs of the public. Furthermore, The Ministry wishes to clarify that these information are old, since nearly three years ago, where MOH carried out the implementation of its development programs, achieving major developments in health services, quality and quantity.
   In this context, the Ministry is keen to provide accurate and updated information on what has been stated and to clarify its efforts in providing healthcare services at all levels and health facilities all over the kingdom. Thus, MOH wishes to state the following:
1. The average of hospital beds per 1000 population is (2.15) beds, not as mentioned (0.68). Nowadays, The number of hospital beds has reached (34580) beds, thanks to Allah and the generous support of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, where 18 hospitals were opened in 1430, 7 hospitals in 1431, in addition to 8 hospitals since the beginning of this year, bringing the total number of hospitals opened during 1430-today, to 33 hospitals. These hospitals contain 4120 beds, in addition to the beds in private hospitals.
2. 32 hospitals are expected to be received within the next two years containing 5000 beds, where more than 80% are already achieved.
3. It was stated that 81% of primary healthcare centers are leased; the reality is that the Ministry has established and operated 671 new centers, while 207 of such centers are expected to be received this year. The total number of these new centers is 878 out of 1010 centers which represent the total number of centers being built. Thus, the percentage of new health centers increases to 42% of the total number of all 2077 health centers. Earlier this year, there was tenders flotation of 382 new centers, where there has been a delay in the fifth batch of building 227 primary healthcare centers due to non-availability of land. On the other hand, 450 new primary healthcare centers were developed in the last three years in various regions of the Kingdom as a part of the national project for integrated and comprehensive health care.
4. Regarding medicine shortage, the Kingdom, has supported the budget allocated for medicines in the Ministry of Health to reach 3.750 billion Saudi Riyals this year. This led to the provision of all the medications listed in the Medications formulary of the Ministry of Health, which was prepared by a specialized scientific committee, including rare and specialized types. The lack of a specific medication is attributed to the manufacturer, where alternatives are available in the Medications formulary of the Ministry.
5. Regarding the availability of technical personnel, the Ministry hired 18,000 physicians and nurses last year and 4500 physicians and nurses during the past six months. This medical staff are highly qualified with scientific and specialized qualifications being selected by specialized technical committees of the Ministry. The Ministry has also expanded the visiting physician program, where more than 1000 medical consultants arrived from several countries, including Europe and America. The consultants are specialized in all specialties, and will be distributed to work all over hospitals of the Ministry in all regions of the Kingdom.
6. Regarding poor medical and technical equipments, the Ministry today operates the latest devices and medical technology. Previously, old devices were replaced with new ones. The Ministry allocates 500 million Saudi Riyals from its budget each year for medical replacement and 200 million Riyals for non-medical replacement, which is done through scheduling equipment replacement in medical and non-medical facilities. For example, the advanced techniques in the intensive care unit of Assir Central Hospital and those at King Saud Medical City. That is in addition to the development of digital operating rooms at many hospitals related to the Ministry.
7. Regarding the incompletion of emergency service, 600 modern ambulances were received during the past two years, another 300 ambulances will soon be available, in addition to 375 ambulances being put up for tender; that brings about 1275 new ambulances. The Ministry has been working on increasing and updating ambulances according to the budget. This is in addition to the great efforts made by the Saudi Red Crescent in the field of ambulance transportation services.
8. Regarding medical services, the Ministry is keen to develop its services according to international standards, where 21 hospitals have successfully passed the quality standards and received the accreditation of the Central Board of Accreditation for Healthcare Institutions (CBAHI). The Ministry has also implemented many quality and safety programs at its facilities, where the Joint Commission International, USA and other international bodies are continuously evaluating its services. In addition, the Ministry has activated the emergency departments in all regions of the Kingdom, as well as the Central Emergency Department at the Ministry to work on a 24/7 basis to ensure availability of beds in case of emergency. Moreover, the Ministry has also implemented many technical programs to raise the efficiency of the beds and make the optimal use of its resources such as Bed Management Program and One Day Operation Program. The benefit from One Day Operation Program has jumped from 3% in 1430 to 33% this year, leading to taking the maximum benefit from beds turnovers and easing patients’ suffer. Patients in need for intensive care unit or newborn intensive care unit or any other emergency cases, where no beds are available, are immediately referred to private hospitals for treatment at the expense of the Kingdom until the completion of under implementation  projects of the Ministry. Private sector services in this regard cost more than 200 million Riyals last year. Nevertheless, 388 Intensive Care and Dialysis beds are in use currently.
9. Regarding Domestic Medicine, Domestic Medicine is an advanced medical service that is internationally acknowledged. It’s a hospital-based complementary medicine. The Ministry has established a special program for Domestic Medicine two years ago, where the total number of beneficiaries reached more than 7000 patients in various regions of our beloved Kingdom.
10. Regarding the ambiguity of vision and objectives and lack of institutional work, the Ministry has lately prepared a strategic plan for the next ten years, where the national project for integrated and comprehensive health care is considered one of its main pillars. This strategic plan contains a range of programs and initiatives that aim to establish an institutional work system. These programs are implemented for the first time, for example: the formation of the Executive Council in the Ministry and the affiliated specialized committees as well as the Executive Board of each health affairs directorate and the affiliated specialized committees.
11. Regarding patients’ care, MOH is dedicated to serve patients under the slogan of “Patient First”. MOH has recently started numerous programs and projects to serve and satisfy patients such as Patient Relations Program, where more than 700 employees work to serve patients and overcome all the obstacles they may face. As well as Clinical Check Up Program, Pharmaceutical Program, Medical Errors Monitoring Program and Patient Safety Program.
12. Regarding the cancelation of establishing hospitals, the Ministry stressed several times that there was no cancelation of any approved project, but on the contrary, it increased the number of projects. Moreover, the Ministry spares no efforts to ask for health projects for all areas of our beloved Kingdom, within the national project for integrated and comprehensive health care.
13. Regarding expatriates being treated at public hospitals, this is not accurate because they receive treatment at private health facilities according to the cooperative health insurance policy.
14. Regarding health insurance, the Ministry invited local and international specialists in this field, and held an international conference that is accompanied by a number of workshops. There was an unanimous agreement that commercial health insurance is not intended to improve the quality of health care, where its implementation needs to build needed infrastructure at all levels. This comes in line with the resolution of the Council of Ministers, stating applying it on citizens and conduct extensive studies to benefit from international systems to achieve integrated and comprehensive health care, noting that health insurance is a method to provide funding not to provide the service.
15. The Ministry currently builds and develops a package of integrated and harmonious technical and administrative programs in the field of health information systems and technology as well as e-health, which all aim to improve the performance of health services and provide comprehensive and integrated high quality electronic health environment and systems. The Ministry also works on implementing a plan for preparing information technology infrastructure and e-health at all its facilities, a medical referrals plan, a specialized plan for developing and automating administrative and financial system at the Ministry in addition to a plan for developing medical supply and medical equipments systems at the Ministry and its affiliated directorates. It also works on expanding scholarship and training programs for technical and administrative cadres.

   In conclusion, this is just a small fraction of the efforts made by the Ministry of Health to provide high quality health services to meet the expectations of the beneficiaries.  The Ministry of Health will spare no effort to upgrade its facilities and support them with qualified health cadres and new medical technologies, hoping that the national project for integrated and comprehensive health care will contribute in the health field.
May Allah grant us success.

Last Update : 17 July 2011 11:30 AM
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