All Saudi health jobs 'to be nationalised in five years'

Kingdom looks to fill all healthcare roles with nationals as part of Saudisation scheme - report
All Saudi health jobs 'to be nationalised in five years'
By Daniel Shane
Tue 04 Jun 2013 01:01 PM

All jobs in Saudi Arabia’s health sector will be filled by nationals within the next five years, according to a report in the kingdom.

Sources told English language Saudi Gazette that government agencies were currently working on ‘Saudisation’ of the sector, which would be based on the availability of qualified staff and the industry’s growth requirements.

Citing a study by the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the newspaper said that foreigners currently accounted for 51 percent of the health sector workforce.

The study called for a review of Saudisation programmes in the country’s health sector due to its reliance on highly skilled and experienced overseas technicians. It also found that the vast majority of Saudi men did not seek employment in healthcare roles.

Saudi Arabia recently earmarked SR15bn ($4bn) to spend on a series of new healthcare projects across the Gulf country.

King Abdullah directly approved the allocation of the cash which will be used to fund 22 new medical projects throughout various parts of the GCC’s most populous country.

Projects will include 19 medical complexes and hospitals with a capacity of 7,400 beds in addition to three centres specifically for treating children.

Among the new facilities are two 200-bed and one 500-bed hospital in Makkah region, 100-bed medical complexes in Riyadh and Jeddah, and 500-bed treatment centres in Qatif, al-Hassa, Khamees Mushayt and West Dammam.

Spending on health care across the Gulf countries is forecast to reach about $79bn by 2015, as populations increase and governments invest oil revenue to boost their health care, Arab News reported earlier this month, citing a survey by Kuwait Financial Centre (Markaz).

Public health expenditure per capita has grown at an average of 7.9 percent across GCC states from 2000-2009, according to the survey by Markaz. Public health expenditure in GCC countries is between 63 percent and 80 percent of total health expenditure.

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