2002 News Story

Minister speaks of latest health statistics

Minister of Health Dr. Osama Shobokshi, in an interview published in the health bulletin issued by the Security Forces Hospital in Riyadh, gave information about a number of health issues in the Kingdom. General vaccination against infectious diseases is over 93 percent, and incidences of contagious diseases are at an all-time low, with measles and German measles, for example, dropping to 0 .74 and 0.08 respectively per 100,000 population. Infant mortality rates have dropped to 19.1 per 1,000 births as compared to 61.4 ten years ago, while average life expectancy has increased from 59 to over 71 years. There are now 191 government hospitals and 1,786 primary health care centers. Commenting on the new cooperative health insurance system, he said 7 million people will benefit in its first phase and 21 million in its second.