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 medical 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 centres 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 population. 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 ministry.

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.”

Home Healthcare

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 diseases. 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.

Sudanese doctors

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 graduates 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 healthcare technology

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 healthcare technology.

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, information 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 and budgets.

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 Aramco.

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 people.”

“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.

 Date of upload: 20th Nov 2013


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