Monday, July 5, 2010

Healthcare in Riyadh at SFH

The Security Forces Hospital is one of the oldest and continuously expanding Hospitals in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is one of the major healthcare facilities in the Kingdom operating under Western Healthcare standards. It was initially a small dispensary opened in 1972 and in 1974 expended to a 20 bed hospital. In 1981 the second phase construction started and in 1991 a total of 508 beds was achieved. In 1998 the Ministry of Interior assumed responsibility for the hospital and it is the only hospital providing medical services to the Ministry of Interior personnel and their families. The hospital offers all major medical specialties including plastic surgery and has become a internship institution for the Saudi Board of Medical Specialties. The hospital employs a wide variety of health professionals from North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia.
Security Forces Hospital was one of the first hospitals that implemented telemedicine with consultations from Cleveland Clinic, Duke University Health System, Partners Healthcare which includes Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women's Hospital. From 1988 till 1998 the Hospital was operated and managed by AMI and in 1998 the Ministry of Interior assumed responsibilities for the management of the hospital. The hospital has been hosting major events in clinical teaching and further education. The hospital employees staff from various countries including North America, Western Europe, Middle East and Asia.
The hospital offers typically twelve months contracts for foreign staff which can be renewed every year. The terms include free housing for families and single staff, free transportation, free medical care, generous leave, annual flights home and other fringe benefits.
The hospital holds accreditation from the Canadian Council of Health Services but is not accredited by the Joint Commission International.
The Ministry of Health is the major government agency providing preventive, curative and rehabilitative care in the Kingdom. There are some hospitals that are under the direction of the Military, National Guard or Ministry of Education and Interior. The Ministry of Health is considered the lead agency responsible for the management, planning, financing and regulation of the health care center. At present most of the healthcare is financed by the Government but Analysts believe that the government alone will be unable to continue meeting this demand. They concluded that Saudi healthcare provision is only sustainable with private sector investment. The goals set by the government are to develop a business environment that will Saudi Arabia more attractive for private healthcare providers and attract private Investors.