MOH News
Dr. Al-Hawwasi Meets with a Delegation from US Arizona University
05 March 2014
His Excellency Vice Minister of Health for Health Affairs, Dr. Mansour bin Nasser Al-Hawwasi, met on Monday at his office in the MOH headquarter, with a delegation from the US University of Arizona (UA) headed by Dean of the Faculty of Pharmacy and Executive Director of the Center for Health Outcomes and Pharmacoeconomic Research (the HOPE Center) at University of Arizona, Mr. J. Lyle Bootman. Dr. Al-Hawwasi welcomed the delegates and discussed with them ways of promoting health cooperation between the MOH and UA in several health areas. It is noteworthy that this university has one of the top ten colleges of pharmacy in the USA, and is considered one of the leading schools there.
On the other hand, His Excellency the Vice Minister of Health for Planning and Development, Dr. Mohammad Hamzah Khasheem, met with head and members of UA delegation. He highlighted that this visit comes within context of the interest in strengthening health role, disseminating health culture, activating and developing pharmaceutical and drug services in the Kingdom in collaboration with UA that is considered as one of top ten colleges in the United Sates. The visit also aims at activating the role of pharmaceutical services whether in terms of the required technology concerning the equipment used in extraction of drugs, maintaining drugs in the stores or through keeping them in nursing departments, as well as all conditions surrounding the drugs in relation to air conditioning, drug storage, using dangerous drugs in institutions and the entities dispensing them and the followed rules in this regard.
Dr. Khasheem mentioned the universal automation adopted in the entire system which leads to cancellation of written drug prescriptions so that doctors will no longer handwrite drug prescriptions for treatment of patients that will be replaced electronically across computer system where the required drugs and pharmaceuticals will be directly entered. This is likely to put an end to medical mistakes, “which we hope to realize soon, Allah willing,” he said.
The Vice Minister of Health for Planning and Development, Dr. Mohammad Khasheem, underscored that the visit of the US delegation includes discussion of cooperation in a number of areas. The objective of the visit is to bolster the educational role, learn about a number of experiments through practice in the USA, and, hence, exchange experiences between the two countries and hold several educational lectures in the Kingdom.
Dr. Khasheem added that the Ministry of Health has previously signed a number of memoranda of understanding and cooperation with University of Arizona so that all courses are recognized by UA, and this was achieved through opening a number of new scholarship opportunities to get Ph.D. degree in clinical pharmacy. 20 places were already opened for Saudi students who have been sent to USA to get Ph.D. degree in this new specialty.
It is worth mentioning that during the meeting, both the Saudi and American sides discussed ways of developing exchange of experiences and raise scientific and vocational standards of pharmaceutical professionals in pursuit of upgrading treatment services provided to patients through the new global experiences gained by the staff that will enable them improve work to serve patients. This was based on approval by the minister on recommendations issued from the first meeting of the Executive Board regarding implementation of the strategic plan for management of pharmaceutical care through signing of agreements with local and international educational entities, putting them into effect, and supporting global relations through the visit of the UA delegation. This will be reflected positively on education standard in the Kingdom and opening new different academic horizons inside and outside the homeland.
For his part, Dr. Youssef Al-Aoumi, Director General of Pharmaceutical Care, described the visit as “the first of its kind”. He said that this visit will achieve a quantum leap in the area of services provided to patients and the strategy aimed at developing an integrated set of systems and services and benefiting from international experiences. This testifies the keenness of the MOH on constant upgrading of pharmaceutical profession in recognition of the importance of contribution provided by pharmacists within the medical treatment team as an integral, indivisible part thereof.

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