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.


Trump names new US ambassador to Saudi Arabia

Updated 26 min 21 sec ago
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Trump names new US ambassador to Saudi Arabia

WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Tuesday tapped John Abizaid, a top US general from the Iraq war who has studied the Middle East for years, as ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
Abizaid is a fluent Arabic speaker of Lebanese descent who headed US Central Command — which covers the Middle East — during the Iraq war from shortly after the US invasion in 2003 through 2007.
A California native, Abizaid graduated from the US Military Academy at West Point and later won a scholarship to study in Jordan, where he honed his Arabic, which he did not speak as a child.
Abizaid requires confirmation from the Senate, which would appear likely as the retired four-star general has long enjoyed respect in Washington.