Saudi healthcare chiefs may soon replace expat workers with locals

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(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

(Photo for illustrative purposes only)

Foreigners working in private sector administrative jobs at hospitals, polyclinics and medical centres could soon be replaced by local workers as the Kingdom forges ahead with plans to “Saudize” those industries, local media reported.

Saudi Council of Chambers health committee member Hani Al Kholaif said that together with the Human Resources Development Fund it had started counting administrative jobs in all private hospitals and polyclinics, the Saudi Gazette reported.

According to the Gazette, he said Saudi men and women jobseekers who were qualified to take up jobs in the education, technical and health specialties would replace foreigners in the administrative posts.

Al Kholaifi, who is also chairman of the health committee at the Hail chamber, said the committee was carrying out training courses and awareness classes for Saudi jobseekers to enable them to take up the jobs.

“The training courses helped finding jobs for more than 80 Saudi women at polyclinics,” he was quoted as saying.

It is unclear how much, if any, notice foreigners would receive or whether they would immediately face the axe under the plan.

In June, the Arabian Gazette reported that the Saudi government was aggressively working on plans to complete Saudisation of the medical sector.

A study by the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry showed that foreigners made up 51 percent of the health sector workforce.

Saudi has set aside $4bn for various new healthcare projects in the Kingdom.

This includes the development of 19 medical complexes and hospitals with a capacity of 7,400 beds. Also, it plans to establish three specialised centres to treat children.

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