Saudi social security program pumps $560m into citizens’ accounts

The Citizens Account program aims to protect Saudi households from the impact of economic reforms, including VAT and higher petrol prices. (Reuters)
Updated 10 January 2018
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Saudi social security program pumps $560m into citizens’ accounts

RIYADH: The Saudi Citizens Account social security program, which is designed to assist low- and middle-income families, on Wednesday deposited an instalment of SR2.1 billion ($560 million) into beneficiaries’ accounts.

The average payment stood at SR935 ($249) for each family in the second payment round in the Citizens Account program, Asharq Al-Awsat reported.

Ali Rajhi, general manager of the program, said 800,000 families have received support exceeding SR900 ($240).

Half of independent families and individuals received the full payment, while 26 percent of beneficiaries received partial support.

Beneficiaries included around 3 million independent families and individuals and 7.9 million heads of households, making a total of around 11 million.

Rajhi noted that the total payments to beneficiaries in the Citizens Account program, in its first and second rounds, reached SR4 billion.

The third payment will be deposited on Feb. 10 for those who completed their applications by Jan. 10.

The Citizens Account program aims to protect Saudi households from the direct and indirect impacts of economic reforms, compensating for an increase in prices as subsidies on electricity and petrol are cut, and value-added tax (VAT) is applied to goods.

Cash is deposited in beneficiaries’ accounts on the 10th of each month, except on weekends. If the 10th falls on a Friday, the cash is deposited on the Thursday; if it falls on Saturday, the cash is deposited on the Sunday.


Saudi Arabia’s first ‘smart’ pharmacy inaugurated

Updated 21 July 2018
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Saudi Arabia’s first ‘smart’ pharmacy inaugurated

TABUK: Prince Fahd bin Sultan, governor of Tabuk region, inaugurated the Kingdom’s first smart pharmacy — operated by a robot — at King Fahd Specialist Hospital on Thursday, following his meeting with the province’s director general of health affairs, Ghurmallah bin Abdullah Al-Ghamdi.
It is hoped that the smart pharmacy — which can dispense 1,500 packages of medicine per hour, store over 20,000 packages of medicine, reject expired drugs, and deal with 240 prescriptions per hour — will save the time of patients and pharmacists, ensure better control of drug stocks, provide the highest safety standards, and reduce medication errors.
The pharmacy has six outlets, one of which is dedicated to serving disabled people.
Prince Fahd congratulated Tabuk Health Affairs on this achievement, which he said would contribute to better health care services.
He stressed that serving citizens was the main objective and praised the role of young men and women in meeting the requirements of the future.
He also thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their support for the health care sector in Saudi Arabia.
Al-Ghamdi thanked Prince Fahd for his support for the health care sector in the province.