Current Issue


Saudi Arabia’s astounding
healthcare expansion

Saudi Arabia continues to expand its healthcare infrastructure at an astounding rate. The kingdom recently announced their latest healthcare budget, which will be used to build several new healthcare cities, many more new hospitals and clinics and employ hundreds of doctors and other healthcare personnel to work in and run these facilities. As well as the all-important provision of greater and easier access to healthcare for Saudis, it also means that the kingdom, for the foreseeable future, will continue to serve as a major driver in the demand for healthcare technology, devices, equipment and services in the region – good news for the companies that use this magazine to market their products and services in the kingdom and the wider region. You can read the Saudi report on page 42.

In a look at ground-breaking hospital design, we publish an article outlining the innovative and pioneering use of geothermal energy which has been incorporated into a new-build hospital in Chicago to help alleviate its electricity consumption and lower its carbon footprint. Read the Advocate Sherman Hospital story on page 48.

The atrocities in Syria continue unabated. The Union of Syrian Medical Relief Organization regularly releases reports of the latest killings of medical workers and bombings of medical facilities around the country. In a recent report they say that 149 doctors have been killed in the conflict since it began in March 2011 and, equally shocking, that 469 health workers have been imprisoned. A Bioedge report says that the few doctors who remain in Syria are being overwhelmed with a casualty admission every 32 seconds – the highest rate in the world. Read the report on page 26, and the Open Letter signed by doctors around the world, which calls on Assad to allow doctors to treat patients without fear of attack or reprisal.

Middle East Respiratory Syndome Coronavirus (MERS-CoV) continues to inflict a high mortality in the region, mostly in Saudi Arabia. The WHO met in September to assess the state of the virus and decided that conditions still do not warrant the declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. They stressed, however, that healthcare facilities must remain vigilant. The WHO will meet again in November to assess the spread of the virus. Read the MERS-CoV update on page 32.

Good health

Brian Wilkie

(Nov-Dec 2013)

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