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King Salman Approves Plans to Make Public Health Policy a Priority | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud. SPA

Riyadh- Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud has approved adopting public health as a policy and priority in all regulations and legislations to fight diseases and reduce their burden. This requires the work of all government agencies to achieve this goal so that health is a priority in all policies.

This was announced by Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq al-Rabiah, who said the approval reflects the keenness of the Saudi leadership and its concern for the well-being of its citizens and providing them the best medical care.

He said the policy has been derived from the World Health Organization (WHO) and international referral health institutions.

Rabiah said that the ministry is exerting every effort to invest all available resources to achieve optimal utilization of them, which will positively affect the improvement of health services, raise the efficiency of performance in health facilities and contribute to achieve the expectations of the governors and gain the satisfaction of citizens.

The Saudi Health Ministry said in a statement on Sunday that public health should be taken into consideration in formulating policies and legislations in all government and non-government sectors, institutions and charitable societies.

This necessitates evaluation and review of policies, it said.

The policies should take into consideration the effect on health of draft regulations for a better well-being of society, Rabiah said.

The health system should extend beyond just providing healthcare services rather it should include its impact on lifestyle, he added.

He said that hospitals and health centers will be separated from the ministry and they will be converted into public sector companies to compete with one another on the basis of quality, efficiency, productivity, reducing wastage, speedy decision-making and decentralization.

The ministry will focus on its supervisory and organizational roles once health centers and hospitals are separated from it, he said.

Rabiah said healthcare services will be provided through medical complexes comprising primary health centers, general and specialist hospitals that will provide comprehensive and integrated preventive, curative and rehabilitative healthcare.

He said the ministry has been carrying out programs and activities for public health safety through health awareness campaigns.

The campaigns included spreading awareness about diabetes, breast and colon cancer, malaria, influenza, renal diseases, tuberculosis, heart disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, and AIDS.