Saudi King Passes Health Reforms


Fraser Clarke

Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has given royal approval to a number of changes in healthcare policy, including the establishment of a new centre focused on evidence based practice.

Whilst the new facility dominates the headlines the King has passed a range of new suggestions made by the Saudi Health Council, aimed at further developing the already strong sector for 2019.

A national registry of tumours is to be introduced, ran by the Saudi National Oncology Centre. It is hoped that this will allow the prevalence of Cancer to be easily monitored, with all hospitals and clinics in the Kingdom asked to work collaboratively in an attempt to reduce rates of the condition.

Further to this, new laws will make it mandatory for all hospitals with appropriate facilities to receive heart attack patients transferred by the red crescent, whilst standardised laboratory measurements will be used nationwide for the very first time.

Secretary general of the Saudi Health Council, Dr Nahar Al-Azimi, thanked King Salman for supporting the group’s decision.

He said: “The approval reflects King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s keenness to improve the quality of life of people of Saudi Arabia.

“Regarding oncology services in the Kingdom, specialised hospitals and medical cities have been directed to activate a hub-and-spoke cooperation program. This will be implemented in two phases.

“In the first phase, oncology units in Arar, Madinah and Asir will be linked to specialised hospitals, and in the second phase, specialized hospitals will provide other health facilities with studies and relevant work plans.”

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