By Beatrice Thomas
Many places found to be understaffed after spot raids
Saudi health authorities have shut down seven healthcare facilities in the capital Riyadh with spot raids finding various violations to healthcare standards, it was reported.
Riyadh Directorate of Health Affairs spokesman Saad Al Qahtani said surprise visits to three optical centres, two general polyclinics, and two dental clinics in the capital uncovered the breaches.
He said the visits uncovered technicians with expired professional licenses while others lacked proper qualifications, the Saudi Gazette reported.
They also found dental centres were understaffed and under-equipped and had signage that wrongly stated they offered certain medical services.
Al Qahtani said the healthcare facilities would remain shut until they complied with health regulations.
The directorate warned its inspectors would continue to monitor the quality of medical services offered in the private sector.
Under Saudi laws, medical institutions found in breach of regulations faced several penalties, including being stripped of their licence.
Earlier this month, 24 medical facilities and 10 pharmacies were shut down in the capital for various violations, the Gazette reported.
In Jeddah, the Health Affairs Department has fined and shut down 19 health facilities in the past six months.
Saudi has allocated SR108 billion ($28.8 billion) for health and social services in the 2-14 budget, an increase of eight percent on this year.
The budget includes new projects for new primary care centres throughout the kingdom, 11 new hospitals, two medical complexes, 11 medical centers, and 10 comprehensive clinics.