Saudi Arabia report
Saudi budgets $14.5bn for healthcare
MoH plans to build another 5 medical cities
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has allocated
SR54.35 billion (US$14.5bn) to
healthcare this year, according to a September
report in Arab News. This is up
15.45% on the healthcare budget for 2011.
The report, which outlines some of the
key healthcare expenditures, says the increased
budget will enable the Ministry of
Health to continue constructing healthcare
cities, hospitals and primary healthcare centres across the kingdom.
King Abdullah, who signed the budget, disclosed plans to establish five new
cities and 19 new hospitals.
The ministry will set aside SR25.2 billion
for salaries and SR16.39 billion for
operation, cleaning and maintenance contracts.
It has also allocated SR7.76 billion
for medicine, training and catering, and
SR5 billion for new development projects.
The newspaper reported that the budget
includes funding for the opening of
155 primary healthcare centres across the
kingdom, adding that the ministry has plans to increase the number of the
to 2,750 from the existing 2,286 centres.
Arab News says the ministry’s longterm
plan is to build 138 hospitals with
34,800 beds to cater to the increasing local
The new budget has made allocations for
a 200-bed Al-Ansar Hospital in Madinah,
a 500-bed mental hospital in Makkah, a
200-bed mental hospital in Baha, a 200-bed
maternity and children’s hospital in Gurayat
and a 200-bed medical tower in Dammam.
The ministry plans to establish a medical
tower for accidents and emergency at Dammam Medical Tower, an outpatient
clinics tower at Qatif Central Hospital,
and an emergency medical tower at Prince
Abdul Aziz Hospital in Arar.
Three tumour centres in Jazan, Hail and
Al-Ahsa, each with a capacity of 100 beds,
three cardiac centres in Jazan, Tabuk and
Taif and six dental centres in Makkah, Al-
Ahsa, Taif, Qatif, Al-Kharj and Samita
with a total of 430 dental clinics .
In October last year, King Abdullah
inaugurated 420 health projects and laid
foundation stones for 127 other health facilities
worth SR12 billion.
The king also laid the foundation stones
for two medical cities in the northern
and southern regions, projects in three
medical cities, a specialist hospital, seven
public hospitals, two medical towers, 73
digitized operation theatres and 111 primary
healthcare centres, according to the
Health Minister Abdullah Al-Rabeeah,
was quoted by the newspaper as saying:
“Our ministry will keep improving health
services in the country by enhancing the
quality of services at medical facilities,
introducing new patient service programs
and developing home medicine, preventive
medicine, emergency services and
clinical referral services.”
The Home Healthcare Program (HHP)
has covered some 20,000 patients ever
since it was introduced in April 2010. The
program offers healthcare at the homes
of patients who cannot travel to medical
clinics for their treatment.
Around 32% of the patients covered under
the program suffer from chronic diseases
such as hypertension, diabetes, as well as
cardiac and renal diseases.
Twenty per cent are Alzheimer’s and
psychiatric patients, 13% paralytics, 10%
suffer from diabetic foot and 2% from malignant
Al-Rabeeah has allocated a fleet of
80 vehicles to help health officials visit
homes regularly to monitor the health of
patients covered under the program, according
the Arab News.
Meanwhile, Sudanese Ambassador to Riyadh
Abdul Hafiz Ibrahim, is quoted by
Arab News as saying the Saudi MoH plans
to recruit 5,000 Sudanese doctors for its
public hospitals. This is in addition to the
10,000 Sudanese doctors already working
in the Kingdom’s public and private sectors.
Ibrahim said Sudan’s health services
would not be affected by the departure of 5,000 doctors. “We have 5,000
every year, so we will share them between
our two countries.”
“The Saudi health ministry has benefited
from the Sudanese experience in the strategic
planning of medical services at the Kingdom’s
hospitals, the development of medical
disciplines at Saudi universities, and in the
establishment of health divisions at government
hospitals,” said Ibrahim.
New joint venture set up
to advance delivery of
Middle East Health: Care-RTKL is a new
venture launched recently. Can you give us
some background on why it was formed?
n Jeffrey Davenport: In early 2009, we
saw the opportunity to integrate worldclass
technology expertise into the prestigious
healthcare developments underway in
the MENA region. HDH, the Healthcare
Development Holding company led by Dr
Wael Kaawach and RTKL, an international
expert in healthcare technologies planning,
created a joint venture firm to advance care
through the integration and delivery of
The joint venture company we have
formed is named Care-RTKL and is based
in Jeddah, KSA. The company provides
forward-thinking medical equipment and
technology solutions that give our clients
and their patients access to less invasive and
more accurate diagnoses and treatments.
Our vision is to become the premier provider
of a comprehensive healthcare solution
for the planning and delivery of medical
equipment and medical technology to clients
in Saudi Arabia and the MENA Region.
MEH: Why is this service needed?
n JD: The digital age has transformed hospitals
into increasingly complex, high-tech enterprises where medical equipment,
systems, and building management
systems run on a common data infrastructure
and continuously interact together. Integrating
this advanced equipment and technology
into healthcare facilities requires greater expertise
than ever before. The results directly
impact the hospital’s operational efficiency,
patient satisfaction and reputation as a
world-class leader in medical care.
MEH: How does your approach to delivering
this service differ from other providers
in the region?
JD: First of all it is the people. Care- RTKL employs the best equipment planners,
technology design engineers, and
wireless specialists in the industry. These
experts have earned a broad range of professional
credentials that complement
their experience serving world-renowned
clients such as Stanford University Medical
Center and Cleveland Clinic.
Our teams specialize in all key departmental
modalities and stay knowledgeable
of current equipment, technologies, trends
and options. We know what to look for,
what to avoid, and the best practices to
employ to give our clients the best value
for their capital expenditure. Secondly, is our process. We get involved
at the very beginning of the planning phase
and see the project through to hand-over.
We coordinate the equipment and technology
with the architects and engineers so that
the treatment spaces are designed to meet
the space requirements, heat loads, power requirements
and plumbing needs. We are not
a distributor of equipment, so we are making
equipment selection for our clients based on
the best solution that meets their requirements
Procuring the equipment
for large projects is typically more than our
client’s resources can handle, so we support
them with a full procurement team that prepares
the tenders and assist in evaluating the
best value for the client. We also have a full
team on the construction site led by a team
of biomedical engineers that understand the
installation requirements. They coordinate
with the contractor and the trades so that the
construction is coordinated to receive the
right equipment the first time, saving time
on the schedule and cost for the contractor.
Once the equipment is installed the team
collaborates with the vendors to commission
the equipment and turn the facilities over to
the client in a shorter time. This allows the
new facility to begin treating patients sooner
and more reliably.
Saudi Aramco and Johns Hopkins
sign joint venture to provide
healthcare to Aramco employees
Saudi Aramco and Johns Hopkins Medicine
International (JHI), the international
arm of Johns Hopkins Medicine, have
signed a joint venture agreement to establish
a new health care provider for Saudi
The agreement was signed on June 23,
2013, in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, by Saudi Aramco Senior Vice President Abdulaziz
F. Al-Khayyal and Paul B. Rothman, M.D.,
dean of the medical faculty, CEO of Johns
Hopkins Medicine. The new company will
focus on providing high-quality health
care services to Saudi Aramco’s employees,
dependents and annuitants that make
up their eligible medical recipients.
“This joint venture brings together two
global leaders who share a strong commitment
to improve access to world-class
health care services,” Al-Khayyal said.
“Over the last 80 years, Saudi Aramco
doctors and nurses have served the medical
needs of employees and family members.
Now, with Johns Hopkins Medicine
International as a joint venture partner,
we will set an even higher standard for future
generations. This is a logical step in
our company’s transformation and demonstrates
our ongoing commitment to our
“For more than 120 years, Johns Hopkins
has been recognized as a national
and global leader in patient care, research
and education,” said Dr Rothman. “We
are pleased to have the opportunity to
share our innovations and best practices with our colleagues at Saudi Aramco and
to assist them with further strengthening
health care services the company offers to
its employees, retirees and their families.”
The new venture will assume the responsibilities
of Saudi Aramco Medical
Services Organization (SAMSO), which
manages the health-related services for
approximately 350,000 members of the
Saudi Aramco community.
Under the terms of the agreement, Saudi Aramco and JHI will each hold an ownership
stake in the new Saudi company. JHI,
drawing upon the vast expertise of The
Johns Hopkins University and The Johns
Hopkins Hospital and Health System, will
provide comprehensive clinical services,
research, education and management expertise
to the joint venture.
Steven J. Thompson, CEO of JHI said:
“Our international work now spans more
than a dozen countries on four continents.
It is a privilege for us to collaborate with
Saudi Aramco to carry forth its commitment
to improving the health of its employees.
We are especially energized by
the patient safety, nursing, research and
medical training initiatives that will be at
the core of this work, and we believe this
new joint venture will allow us to advance
Johns Hopkins’ vital mission of improving
the health of the world.”
“This agreement marks the first step in
the long-term process of creating a new
medical center of excellence in Saudi
Arabia,” Dr Saeed Mughram, SAMSO executive director, said. “Building on the
strong, well-established health care system
at Saudi Aramco and the proven expertise
of Johns Hopkins Medicine, the joint
venture will provide enhanced services,
including new clinical programs, and in
the future, centers of excellence in clinical
research and education, to address some of
our most significant health issues, including
diabetes and heart disease.”
The signing marks the beginning of a
multi-year, phased integration plan for
the joint venture. The new company is
expected to commence operations in the
early part of 2014.
of upload: 20th Nov 2013