Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health has hired 2,087 consultant physicians, with 1,364 recruited from abroad.
The wave of appointments has been made to improve health services across the country’s hospital, confirmed undersecretary for hospital affairs, Dr Aqeel Al-Ghamdi, with 723 health experts hired locally.
The rest of the specialists we brought to the kingdom from Australia, the UK Egypt, Jordan, Pakistan, Sweden and the USA, and will focus on areas including kidney transplants, bone surgery, neurosurgery, heart surgery, infectious diseases in children and newborns, diabetes, radiology and more.
Meanwhile, undersecretary for healthcare Dr Abdul Aziz Al-Humaidi revealed some startling statistics at the opening of the fourth annual scientific nutrition education and health indicators programme in Riyadh on Wednesday.
He said 24 percent of women and sixteen percent of men are obese in the Kingdom, which could lead to heart disease, blocked blood vessels, high blood pressure, diabetes and respiratory diseases. He added that there is a fourteen percent incidence of diabetes among all segments of society, and 28 percent among the over 30s.
Furthermore, he said non-communicable diseases have become a serious problem in Saudi Arabia and worldwide, accounting for 60 percent of deaths across the globe, expected to rise to 73 percent by 2020.
Non-communicable diseases are those which are non-infectious and non-transmittable between people, such as heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease, and many cancers.
In a bid to tackle this rise, the Saudi government has established the General Directorate of Non-Communicable Diseases, through which is hopes to raise awareness among the community, and establish and promote integrated health care programmes.