400-bed Saudia hospital to boost health services in Jeddah

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Updated 18 February 2013

400-bed Saudia hospital to boost health services in Jeddah

Saudi Arabian Airlines announced yesterday that it has started work on a 400-bed super specialty hospital in Jeddah to meet medical requirements of its 150,000-strong community including retired workers.
“The new hospital named Medical will be established on an area of 35,000 square meters and will have all specialty clinics with advanced facilities,” said Abdullah Al-Ajhar, Saudia’s vice president for public relations.
Located on the western side of Saudia City in Jeddah, the new hospital will start operation in 2017 and will be managed by a specialized international company. It will boost health services in Jeddah.
“The project is planned in line with Saudia’s privatization program, which has reached advanced stages,” Al-Ajhar said, adding that the new hospital would also provide its services to citizens and residents other than the airline’s employees.
The Saudia Medical Center will have all specializations, clinics and advanced laboratory facilities and will contribute to the Kingdom’s development, said Al-Ajhar. It will employ qualified Saudi medical cadre.
Dr. Muhammad Bafaqeeh, CEO of the Strategic Medical Service Unit at the airline, said the new hospital would provide its services to employees of various companies and strategic units under Saudia as well as other firms and individuals.
In the initial stage, the hospital will have 400 beds, which could be increased at a later stage. It will allocate 25 beds for maternity, 48 for children, 96 for surgery, 142 for internal medicine, 24 for intensive care, 24 cardiac intensive care, 10 pediatric intensive care and 15 for premature babies.
“The hospital will have 10 surgical operation rooms, 20 observation rooms, seven labor rooms and 26 beds in the emergency ward including six for children,” Faqeeh said.
Saudia has already privatized a number of strategic units including Catering, Cargo and Ground Services. The privatization of Saudi Aerospace Engineering Industries has reached its final stages. It intends to make Prince Sultan Aviation Academy an international training center as part of its privatization.
“We are making intensive preparations for the privatization of the core airline unit by modernizing its fleet and developing its technical infrastructure,” said Al-Ajhar. The airline has appointed international experts and consulting firms to assist in speeding up the privatization process.

Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior has received more than 120,000 applications for driving licenses so far

Updated 9 min 25 sec ago

Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior has received more than 120,000 applications for driving licenses so far

RIYADH: The Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior has established six driving schools for women in different regions of Saudi Arabia, according to an interior ministry spokesperson.

Mansour Al-Turki said on Sunday that the ministry has received more than 120,000 applications for driving licenses so far and demand is still very high.

Saudi women celebrated taking the wheel for the first time in decades on Sunday as the Kingdom overturned the world’s only ban on female motorists, a historic reform expected to usher in a new era of social mobility.

At a press conference to mark the occasion, Al-Turki said there are 9 districts where female driving schools have not yet been established and there is evidence to suggest women in these areas want to learn.

The interior ministry spokesperson urged motorists not to violate regulations and infringe on the rights and freedoms of others.

Meanwhile, Director General of the Saudi Traffic Directorate, Maj. Gen. Mohammed Al-Bassami said the directorate has developed a device to identify and verify driving licenses through a fingerprinting system.

He acknowledged there is great awareness among women in dealing with traffic rules and regulations, adding there are no traffic exemptions for women, only for people with special needs.

The move is part of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman’s plan to modernize and reform Saudi Arabia.