1997 News Story

Council of Ministers meeting

Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz presided yesterday over the regular weekly meeting of the Council of Ministers, and spotlighted the Kingdom’s health services.  King Fahd praised the efforts of the Ministry of Health as the state-run body which undertakes the responsibility of providing health care and operating well-defined programs for improvement of its performance, adding:  “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, all praise to Almighty God, has been able to implement health care programs and medical service through a wide network of primary health care units, general hospitals, and specialized centers set up in various parts of the country.  These efforts have been reinforced by the distinguished health role undertaken by military sectors whose contribution is much appreciated.”   King Fahd then went on to commend the private sector for the health services they provide, referring to these as constituting a substantial and integral part of the Kingdom’s health system.

Information Minister Dr. Fouad Al-Farsi reported that King Fahd expressed personal appreciation as well as that of the cabinet for the remarkable progress achieved by the health services, particularly over the last few years, in prevention as well as in treatment.  He cited the anti-polio immunization campaigns carried out by the Ministry of Health through hospitals and health centers nationwide, expressing delight that the number of immunized children rose in five years to 97 percent.  These immunization campaigns will continue until the year 2000 in order to eradicate polio.  Overall immunization is now 94 percent, for diphtheria, whooping cough, consumption, measles and hepatitis as well as polio.
King Fahd pointed out that the Saudi plan to upgrade health services which has led to a remarkable decrease in epidemic disease, owes much to the latest technology being employed to improve their performance together with optimum utilization of health resources to cover the needs of the citizens.  Expressing pride in the medical achievements accomplished by Saudi doctors in various specializations, King Fahd highlighted the performance of the Saudi colleges of medicine and the health institutes affiliated to the Ministry of Health, and urged health care personnel to intensify efforts to provide the best services for the citizens.  He also called on private hospitals to set reasonable charges for their health services.
Dr. Al-Farsi reported that the cabinet, after reviewing the items on the agenda, passed a number of resolutions including approval of the agreement, and the accompanying protocol, between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Italy for the promotion and protection of mutual investments.