MOH News
Prince Khaled al-Faisal Inaugurates the Medical Cities Forum in Taif
01 April 2013
His Royal Highness the Emir of Makkah, Prince Khaled al-Faisal, inaugurated last night the Forum of Sectors' Roles in Health Enhancement, held in Taif under the theme “Unity for Development”, with the attendance of His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Rabeeah, as well as the emirs and governors of the Kingdom's medical cities.
“Our world is encountering environmental, social and economic challenges and risks that threaten community health, and encumbered ministries of health,” stated the National Coordinator of the Saudi Medical Cities Program, Mr. Fallah bin Fahad al-Mazrou'. “Hence came the idea of medical cities program into being, with the aim of creating and activating an efficient, high-quality health system. And since Taif is deemed to be a role model in adopting community partnership, yielding significant successes through the main committee and the women's committee, which embodied very impressive volunteering, the World Health Organization (WHO) has embarked on the implementation of medical cities at Eastern Mediterranean countries, including KSA, since 1998-1999. The program has been applied on four phases, reaching a total of 25 medical cities throughout the Kingdom.
For his part, the WHO Representative at the Kingdom, Dr. Mustafa Tayan, was quoted as saying, “Over the past fifteen years, the Medical Cities Programs has made substantial strides, insomuch as it is now covering 25 cities across the Kingdom. And it has been become crystal clear how such a strategy is efficient in the decline and prevention of a number of diseases and health disorders, as well as promoting population's health level, by way of embracing a participatory approach, placing citizens at the core of the development process, and prioritizing the improvement of livelihood and environmental conditions. To mention just one instance, the monitoring and follow-up of health indicators at a number of health cities show that the incidence of such chronic diseases as diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular diseases is lower than the national incidence. There is no doubt that this fact bears a highly significant connotation related to a set of premises, including the effectiveness of the Medical Cities Program. The world has recently come to recognize the indispensability of health as a pivotal element of sustainable development. There barely can be more significant than the primacy health gains among the objectives of the new millennium over which there was a worldwide consensus. And this has been right reflected in the tremendous investments in health, which are, truth to tell, never heard of before.”
“The close attention paid for health by individuals and peoples has been evidently manifested in the enhancement of manifold participation between government representatives, civil society, and private sector,” added Dr. Tayan. “Health is expected to be place among post-2015 essential objectives. The year 2015 is appointed by WHO as a major juncture for the attainment of the new millennium objectives.”
“It's become beyond doubt that both individuals and communities will have a pivotal role to assume in prospering sustainable development. This includes, but is not limited to, giving rise to environment as a common legacy, and a responsibility to be incurred by both authorities and the whole society, so as to preserve and develop it for the generations to come,” Tayan continued.
As a concluding note, Dr. Tayan pointed out that the Ministry of Health, in cooperation with WHO, is about to evaluate this rich experience to learn the lessons, and enable other countries to benefit from it. He said, “I would like to appreciate the program officials' keen interest in paving the way for all those concerned, so as to enrich their experience with their visions and experiences, thereby reinforcing partnership between governmental and non-governmental sectors, including the civil society and the private sector. The hoped, and expected, result is to improve individual and community health, at the level of the sustainable local and national development. And our meeting in this forum is a pivotal step towards the evaluation and assessment of the program.”


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