Saudi health ministry needs 'surgery'

Saudi Arabia’s appointed parliament launched a virulent attack on the health ministry for what they described as flawed medical services in the Gulf kingdom, telling the health minister to use his surgical knife to clean up his department.

During a heated debate Monday on health services in the world’s dominant oil power, Shura council members said they were not satisfied with the level of such services despite the ministry’s whopping budget of SR33 billion ($9bn).

Shura said nearly 81 per cent of the country’s medical centres are below the required level while many hospitals lack suitable medical staff and equipment.

Saudi newspapers quoted one member as saying health services in the country still fail to meet the needs of citizens and that despite the sharp rise in budgetary allocations for the health ministry, it has been unable to tackle such problems.

Some members wondered how health minister Dr Abdullah Al Rabeia, a well-known surgeon in Saudi Arabia, deliver statements that there are “plans to upgrade health services to serve the citizens while he is sitting at home".

"The great surgeon Dr Abdullah should take his cutter and start cutting off all flaws in his ministry…the ministry needs a surgery.”

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