P.K. Abdul Ghafour, Arab News
Published — Saturday 2 October 2004
Last Update 2 October 2004 3:00 am
JEDDAH , 2 October 2004 — Crown Prince Abdullah will open the 1,095-bed King Fahd Medical City in Riyadh, the largest medical facility in the Middle East, on Tuesday. The medical city comprising four hospitals was established at a cost of SR2.3 billion.
Health Minister Dr. Hamad Al-Manie said the decision to open the huge medical complex, established about 11 years ago, was taken with the support of the crown prince.
“We made arrangements for the opening with the moral and material support of the crown prince,” Okaz Arabic daily quoted him as saying.
Asked why the opening was delayed, the minister said it happened as a result of the work philosophy followed by previous ministers. “When I took over the ministry, my colleagues and I decided to give priority to the opening of this huge medical facility,” he added.
The complex comprises a 459-bed main hospital with specialty clinics to treat chronic diseases, a 50-bed rehabilitation unit, a 300-bed pediatric hospital, a 250- bed maternity hospital, and a psychiatric hospital.
The complex also includes an ambulatory care building, an administration building, a services building, staff housing units, and a community center including a mosque, shopping center, a school, a day care center and a recreational center.
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd donated SR53.98 million last year to purchase modern medical equipment required by the complex.
The minister disclosed the government’s plan to establish similar specialist hospitals all over the country. Prince Abdullah will open the newly established 640-bed Gulf Specialist Hospital in Dammam this month. Foundation stone will be laid for another specialist hospital in Hail shortly, he pointed out.
Al-Manie said the health sector would receive a substantial amount from SR41 billion allocated by the government from this year’s budget surplus for development projects, adding that the money would be used to set up primary health care centers in various parts of the country.
Referring to the Rift Valley Fever in Jizan, Al-Manie said his ministry in coordination with other departments had taken precautionary measures to prevent fresh outbreak of the deadly disease among humans. RVF claimed the lives of more than 125 people in Jizan about three years ago.