Health Ministry: Regardless of nationality, vaccines free for all children in Saudi Arabia

Updated 12 January 2018
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Health Ministry: Regardless of nationality, vaccines free for all children in Saudi Arabia

JEDDAH: An official refuted rumors that the Health Ministry would impose charges on expats for their children’s vaccinations at state medical centers.
Speaking to Arab News, the spokesman for the Jeddah General Directorate of Health Affairs, Abdullah Al-Ghamdi, confirmed that the necessary vaccines are given to all expats and Saudis, alike, for free.
“All children on Saudi soil are equal in this regard. We offer children the vaccines that can protect them against particular diseases, regardless of their nationalities,” he said.
A report by the General Authority for Statistics has disclosed that there were more than 560,000 non-Saudi children in the 0-4 age group living in the Kingdom in the first half of 2017.
A front-line staff member at a private medical center told Arab News that a child’s package of vaccinations could cost their parents up to SR4,000 ($1,067) until they enter school at the age six.
Statistically, if all expats are assumed to take their children to government medical facilities to get their periodic vaccines, it can be deduced that Saudi Arabia has spent more than SR2.24 billion in a period over 1,460 days to immunize foreign workers’ children against certain communicable diseases.


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.