MOH News
Al-Rabiah: Saudi Health Sector is the Largest in the Middle East with over SR 150 Billion Expenditure
11 September 2018

His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al-Rabiah, announced that the health sector in the Kingdom is the largest among all Middle Eastern countries with an expenditure of over $40 billion (about SR 150 billion). He pointed out that the challenges facing the health sector in the Kingdom are somewhat similar to those facing other countries, represented in financial sustainability; due to the rapid growth of healthcare expenditures, healthcare staff shortages, the demographic change of population, the increasing of aging population, and the rising cases of chronic diseases, and the difficult accessibility of health services.


During his inauguration to the Global Health Exhibition today in Riyadh, Al-Rabiah said that, in view of these challenges, the ambitious health plans have been developed to restructure and reform the health system in the Kingdom, through several pathways, most prominently: the institutional transformation meant to restoring health sector governance, the separation of health services in such a manner that enables the Ministry of Health (MOH) to focus on its primary role of the formulation of policies and legislations, as well as the enactment of laws and regulations, to ensure the high-quality health services. The initiatives of health care governance and transformation are a key pillar in this regard, in addition to the financial sustainability of Health Insurance Program and the purchase of the service that will be a fundamental shift in the concept of health financing based on the best global practices.


Al-Rabiah stated that the major pathways for restructuring and reforming the health system in the Kingdom are enhancing the concepts of public health, preventive health, adoption of healthy eating habits, in addition to upgrading the level of health services and adopting a culture of competition, transparency and performance indicators.  He added that the Health Care Performance Initiative is a source of pride for the Ministry at the regional and global levels; as the intuitive aims to enhance the culture of measurement through performance indicators and transparency, to improve quality and efficiency, and to meet the beneficiaries’ satisfaction. The Program has expanded to cover 72 hospitals throughout the Kingdom, targeting patient service departments, such as: emergency, inpatient, surgery, IC, outpatient, radiology, and laboratories.

The Minister of Health underlined that MOH has successfully improved many of those indicators, through more than 1000 projects annually managed by 300 change leaders. Such indictors include reducing the average wait time for a patient to see a doctor in emergencies by 13%, reducing the average wait time in emergencies from making the medical decision to discharging from hospital by 47%, curbing the surgical cancellations by more than 50%, as well as raising the discharge rate by the end of the week to 42%.

Al-Rabiah highlighted: “Proceeding from its pioneering role in the Kingdom via national and international forums, MOH has chosen the theme of this forum and its associated exhibition for this year as: «Embracing the Future», featuring key topics, such as: the future of health care services, investment and finance, reimbursement of health care expenditures, and innovation and digital health. Hence, we wanted to adopt a world view that embraces various international experiences and to vigorously contribute in this global dialogue.” His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Tawfiq al-Rabiah has inaugurated the exhibition being held for three days on the sidelines of the forum at Riyadh International Convention & Exhibition Center.

It is noted that the Forum is attended by 25 countries, with the participation of local and international decision-makers in the development of the healthcare sector, investors, suppliers, medical equipment manufacturers, physicians, hospital managers and healthcare providers.

It is worth mentioning that the forum hosts more than 135 exhibitors from Saudi, regional, and international companies; to showcase the latest global developments in health services and medical device technologies, and to learn about the best practices in the field of health care to identify opportunities for health care progresses in the Kingdom. It will also discuss ways to develop the current health care situation to better benefit by the capabilities and competencies of the current system at hospitals and healthcare centers, as well as improving the quality of preventive and therapeutic healthcare services.






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