2001 News Story

Minister comments on current state of health sector

Minister of Health Dr. Osama Shobokshi, in a statement to the magazine 'Sihat Al-Khaleej' published by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), reported that the allocation for health in the Kingdom's current State budget for FY 1421/22 (2001) amounts to SR 13 billion [U.S. $ 3.47 billion], a figure that constitutes 6 percent of the total. Saudi Arabia has, he said, 314 hospitals, 89 of them in the private sector. There are a total of 45,730 beds, 8,761 of them in the private hospitals. In addition, there are 1,756 health centers. As for personnel, there are 31,500 physicians, including dentists, 20 percent of whom are Saudi nationals; 65,526 nurses, 19 percent of them Saudi; and 36,530 medical technicians, 43 percent of them Saudi.

Dr. Shobokshi gave assurances that his ministry has been undertaking the vaccination of children against various diseases, and has been developing an effective health strategy that covers preventive measures and health awareness as well as improving health care, streamlining administration, and assuring optimum cadre preparation.