2004 News Story

Plans for expansion of health sector

Deputy Prime Minister and Commander of the National Guard Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdulaziz has approved a plan to set up a new medical university, using the existing facilities of the King Abdulaziz Academy for Health Services and investing in the construction of new colleges for it. The new university, which will have a nursing college and a faculty of allied health sciences as well as a school of medicine, will be functioning within the next three to four years, according to Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeah, Chief Executive Officer of the National Guard’s Health Affairs, speaking at a four-day international seminar at the Academy yesterday. The college of nursing is designed to accommodate 1,000 female students, which will help meet the country's current estimated need for 100,000 qualified Saudi nurses, both male and female. The Kingdom has intensified efforts to train Saudi doctors and nurses to cut the country's reliance on foreign professionals. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health plans to open 2,000 new primary health care centers across the country within the next four years.