Health minister spells out his revamp plans

Updated 03 February 2015
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Health minister spells out his revamp plans

New Health Minister Ahmed Al-Khatib said he would revamp the Health Ministry so that everyone in the Kingdom gets quality health service.
He was speaking at a reception organized in his honor at the ministry’s headquarters in Riyadh on Monday.
Al-Khatib also assured the ministry’s officials that he would bring about radical changes to the ministry to transform it to a sector that they would be proud of.
He said he would embark on his task with a detailed evaluation of the current state of the ministry, including its programs and policies, procedures and service levels.
Al-Khatib thanked Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman for trusting him to head the ministry.
The minister commended the unlimited support granted by the rulers to the health sector. “We are in a ministry of services to care for the human health and we will pay utmost attention to it hoping for the reward of the Almighty and we will strive with all our strength for the cause of offering the highest level of service,” Al-Khatib said.
He said he would make surprise visits to hospitals and health centers in cities and villages without any official retinue to find out the real problems facing the health sector.
“I entered the ministry without any mantle of honor and I will make inspections without the mantle of honor,” Al-Khatib said, adding that 50 percent of his time would be spent on visits to health facilities in cities and rural areas across the Kingdom.
He also did not like to hunt for mistakes, he said, spelling out his style of functioning.
The minister said he did not plan to make hurried changes at the initial stage of his tenure, but will act only after listening to and studying the problems faced by the health sector.
He noted that he did not come to a ministry bereft of accomplishments and efficient workers.
“You have put in a lot of commendable work, but still some obstacles remain stalling progress in some areas. Therefore, we should all cooperate to overcome such obstacles in the upcoming phase so that the level of health services is elevated and accessible to all citizens and expatriates across the Kingdom,” Al-Khatib said, adding that he would put in place the plans that would guarantee a high level of health service in the Kingdom with the cooperation of his colleagues in the ministry.
“The ministry would look at the experiences of the countries offering best health care in the world in order to learn from such experiments and bring in improvements to the health sector to benefit patients in all parts of the Kingdom,” the minister said.
He also thanked all former health ministers for the efforts they made for the improvement of the ministry.


Crown prince says Saudi investments in India to reach $100bn

Updated 11 min 47 sec ago
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Crown prince says Saudi investments in India to reach $100bn

  • Mohammed bin Salman says value of investments to increase rapidly over next two years
  • Modi praised relations between the two countries after signing cooperation agreements

DUBAI: Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Wednesday he expected Saudi Arabia’s investments in India will be worth $100 billion in the next two years.

During a press conference with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the crown prince said the Kingdom had invested $10 billion in technology and small companies in India which had “achieved very remarkable returns.”

Speaking on the second day of hist India visit, and after the signing of five agreements with Modi, the crown prince also said that there were many opportunities for India in Saudi Arabia.

“We expect that the opportunity we are developing in India in many fields will exceed 100 billion dollars over the next two years,” Prince Mohammed said. “We want to work as two governments to ensure these investments and achieve beneficial returns for both countries. 

“We also hope that relations between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and India will contribute to providing more opportunities for Indian laborers and manpower to contribute to the future of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and building the Kingdom's Vision 2030.”

The crown prince spoke of the depth and history of relations between the two countries, acknowledging the role Indian labor and businesses had played in the Kingdom’s development.

He also said the economic partnerships were grounded in the two nation’s similar challenges - “extremism, terrorism and the security of the Indian Ocean.”

He said Modi’s visit to the Kingdom in 2016 had achieved investments worth $44 billion in refining and petrochemicals.

The two countries planned to expand India’s oil storage capacity to make India an “important regional center in distributing oil and its products.”

The crown prince and Modi earlier oversaw the signing of agreements in the fields of investment, tourism, housing and information and broadcasting.

The crown prince arrived in India after a two-day trip to Pakistan as part of a tour of Asia.

Earlier he attended a ceremonial welcome in New Delhi after landing in the country on Tuesday evening.