Saudi health care sector ‘to require SR250bn by 2030’

Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah speaks on his ministry’s initiative “The Health Care Model,” at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University on Sunday. (SPA)
Updated 25 April 2017
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Saudi health care sector ‘to require SR250bn by 2030’

RIYADH: Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said financial requirements in the health care sector are expected to rise over the coming years given the increasing number of accidents, smoking and obesity rates in the Kingdom. He estimated the amount required will be about SR250 billion by 2030.
Al-Rabiah was delivering a speech at Princess Nourah bint Abdulrahman University on Sunday as part of the ministry’s initiative “The Health Care Model,” which is the first of over 40 initiatives under Saudi reform plans.
He said car accidents result in deaths, injuries and disabilities of thousands of people; obesity rates are increasing due to lack of exercise; and smoking rates have increased particularly among the youth. These factors will all see health care financial requirements rise every year.
The minister said the most important element in health care transformation will be to institutionalize the sector, and reorganize its funding methods so it does not depend on budgets but on the standard of “payment for service,” in order to improve service efficiency.
The ministry currently manages 279 hospitals with the capacity of over 42,000 beds. These hospitals receive more than 16 million patients in clinics annually, and over 18 million ill people and 21 million injured in emergency rooms.
Al-Rabiah said the health care model was designed with the participation of relevant parties from all over the Kingdom. This model will reconstruct the structure of the primary health care sector, and support it with tools and initiatives that will enable it to be effective.
“This model projects the future and preserves the health of the healthy and treats the ill,” Al-Rabiah said, adding that technology will be an essential element of that new model that will focus greatly on prevention through awareness programs and the dissemination of health information.
He said public health insurance “will be implemented. But for it to exist, we need a health care system that is well-founded with prepared services, service providers, administrative systems, a funding system and linked elements.”
He said other countries tried to implement health insurance without paying attention to these factors and failed, and are still failing to create a good health care system.


Preserving national identity a challenge: Saudi Arabia's Islamic affairs minister

Updated 16 min 35 sec ago
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Preserving national identity a challenge: Saudi Arabia's Islamic affairs minister

  • Dr. Abdullatif bin Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh told delegates at a conference in Cairo that it was a shared duty to preserve national identity
  • More than 150 people — including ministers, scientists, intellectuals and professors — took part in the conference

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia faces “great challenges” in preserving its national identity as it keeps up with modern society, the minister of Islamic affairs said Saturday.
Dr. Abdullatif bin Abdul Aziz Al-Asheikh told delegates at a conference in Cairo that it was a shared duty to preserve religious constants and national identity.
“This is especially significant as we face great challenges of building the national character that combines preserving authentic national identity and keeping pace with contemporary civil society,” he said.
He was speaking at the 29th International Conference of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, which was organized by the Egyptian Ministry of Awqaf (religious endowments) under the patronage of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
More than 150 people — including ministers, scientists, intellectuals and professors — took part in the conference.
The Saudi minister stressed it was important for people to actively participate in developing their nation and contributing to its progress and prosperity.
He explained that the process was hard on a practical level as it demanded loyalty and perseverance, “especially amid the unprecedented openness” of traditional and new forms of media and communication.
Al-Asheikh said that Saudi citizens were proud of their identity and protected their nation against any danger because they loved and respected their country and leaders.
“It has also made Saudis respect other peoples who love their countries and prevented them from intervening in their affairs,” he added.