RIYADH: Following the Saudi Cabinet’s approval on Tuesday of the establishment of a National Institute for Health Research, Saudi Health Minister Fahd Al-Jalajel on Wednesday thanked King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for their continued support for the health sector in the Kingdom.
He said it was important to promote the value of translational research, which aims to turn basic research into practical results that directly benefit people, and clinical trials, which have a crucial role to play in the transformation of the nation’s health sector and in achieving the objectives of the national development and diversification plan, Saudi Vision 2030.
The initiative aligns with national health priorities, he added, and the aspirations expressed by the crown prince in relation to research, development and innovation.
“The Cabinet’s decision to approve the establishment of the National Institute for Health Research is a step that supports researchers in the health sector and outstanding competencies in the field of translational research and clinical trials, in order to improve the health sector in the Kingdom,” Al-Jalajel said.
“The establishment of the institute will have an additional impact, as it will benefit the country amid the transformation in the health sector. This includes focusing on urgent national health priorities, translating cognitive outputs into diagnostic, prevention and treatment products, in addition to enabling pharmaceutical manufacturers and vital national medical and technical apparatuses to develop innovative products, bridging the gap between basic science outputs and their applications in clinical practices, reducing disease incidence and the cost of healthcare, supporting national health security, attracting the investment of international medical companies, and increasing the return on research funding.”
The new institute will oversee and support translational research and clinical trials in the Kingdom, the minister said, with the aim of enhancing the health sector and gaining added value from research by translating results into practical health and economic benefits. This in turn will help improve the health and quality of life of the population, he added.
The institute will actively promote the prevention of health risks, Al-Jalajel said, in keeping with the goals of Vision 2030 and the Health Sector Transformation Program. This will be accomplished through research, development, and innovation, he added, which will also help to shape health policies and strategies.
The new organization will also prioritize health needs to better benefit patients and healthcare providers, and use research results to help improve levels of health, the minister said. In addition it will help in the development of innovative national systems for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of diseases, he added.
“The institute is considered one of the initiatives of the Health Sector Transformation Program, as this decision complements the health transformation journey which started with the launch of the Saudi Vision 2030,” Al-Jalajel said.
“The decision was also preceded by a series of supportive decisions such as the establishment of the Saudi Patient Safety Center and the National Public Health Laboratory, along with the National Health Emergency Operations Center.”