RIYADH: MD RASOOLDEEN
Thursday 31 January 2013
Last Update 31 January 2013 3:05 am
The Kingdom’s Ministry of Health and its counterpart in the United Kingdom have initiated plans to enhance cooperation in the areas of health, human resources development and training of health officials.
During the second meeting of the Saudi-UK Joint Ministerial Committee on Healthcare Cooperation, which took place in the capital, the two parties discussed numerous proposals regarding UK training and clinical cooperation schemes.
The meeting was chaired by Anna Soubry, parliamentary undersecretary of state for health, alongside Mohammed Al-Yemeni, the Saudi deputy minister for planning and health economic. Meanwhile, a separate meeting took place yesterday, along the sidelines between Soubry and Mohammed Al-Khosheim, vice minister of health for planning and development.
An official from the Saudi Ministry of Health told Arab News that Soubry’s first visit to the Kingdom helped kick start discussions between the two parties on a wide range of health-related issues, such as noncommunicable diseases, training of medics and training of postgraduate medical students in the UK.
Commenting on the meeting, Soubry said there is good scope for mutual cooperation between teaching hospitals in both countries and she hopes there will be greater exchange of knowledge and expertise between the Kingdom and UK in coming years.
The Saudi health sector continues to develop and modernize its systems, embarking on a number of new projects that include the construction of 19 new hospitals and health care facilities, as well as developing public health care information campaigns on diabetes and obesity. As such, the Kingdom is interested in the UK experience on this front and is keen on cooperating with their counterparts, especially in establishing a visiting professorship exchange program with the UK and forming joint ventures to transfer skills and technology.
Soubry’s first visit to Saudi Arabia with a strong industry delegation aimed to build on the progress achieved under the Saudi-UK health care cooperation agreement signed in April 2011 and the two visits by Simon Burns, the previous minister of state for health services in December 2011 and June 2012.
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