Saudi Arabia to keep hospital visits low with major primary healthcare project:
This article was originally published in Clinica
To meet the strong demand for primary healthcare in Saudi Arabia, the ministry of health (MoH) has launched a Riyal17bn (US$1.8bn) project to build 2,000 primary healthcare centres (PHCs), which are to be linked electronically and each equipped with an e-patient health records system. PHCs receive over 85% of the country's patients (58 million patient visits in 2005), with hospitals and other clinics receiving the balance of 15%, reports The Saudi Gazette. "Our emphasis is on a maximum utilisation of PHCs primarily to reduce people's need to visit hospitals," said Dr Nabeel Al-Qahtani, director general, PHC department for the MoH. The King Abdullah Primary Healthcare Project will develop the entirely state-owned centres in three phases over five years.