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Saudi Arabia, Mecca of the Middle East, wants to engage in medical cooperation with Korea

  • Date : 2012-02-10
  • Hit : 5202

Saudi Arabia, Mecca of the Middle East, wants to engage in medical cooperation with Korea

- “Executive Program on cooperation in the field of Healthcare and Medical Science” reached between the health authorities of the two nations

Ministry of Health and Welfare (Minister Rim, Chae Min) informed that the “Executive Program between the Ministry of Health and Welfare of the Rep. of Korea and the Ministry of Health of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on cooperation in the field of Healthcare and Medical Science” was signed at 7PM (local time) on 8 Feb. (1AM on 9 Feb. in Korea), taking the Korean presidential visit to Saudi Arabia as a good opportunity.

* (Signatories) Minister of Health of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (Dr. Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al-Rabiah) and Healthcare and Medical Policy Director of the Ministry of Health and Welfare of the Rep. of Korea (Goh, Kyung Seok)

According to an official from Ministry of Health and Welfare, this Executive Program had been promoted since 2009 as a part of the implementation plan of the Agreement on Economic and Technical Cooperation between the Government of Rep. of Korea and the Government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (4 Jul. 74)

The Program was signed at the request of the Saudi Government, taking the Korean Presidential visitation as an opportunity.

The official explains that there hasn’t been active cooperation in the field of healthcare and medicine between the two nations compared with the economic cooperation even though Saudi Arabia is a central country in the Middle East and this Executive Program holds great significance as it lays the foundation for facilitation of cooperation in the field of healthcare and medical science between Korea and Saudi Arabia.

Just like other Middle Easter countries, Saudi Arabia has difficulty in providing quality medical service to its people** due to a lack of human resources and skills although it has medical institutions.*

*Establishment of four medical cities; total number of hospitals: 406 (4.6 per thousand persons) and total number of beds: 55932 (2.2 per thousand persons), total number of doctors: 54,306 (2.18 per thousand persons), total number of JCI authorized medical institutions: 28

** In Saudi Arabia, the number of people who travel overseas for the purpose of medical tour is around 200 thousand (mainly to US, UK, and France, etc) (Main causes of death) Cardiovascular diseases (35%), injuries(16%), other chronic disease (16%), cancer (11%), Saudi Arabia ranks third in terms of obesity (35.6% of the entire population) and diabetes (17%) in the world.

Saudi Arabia expressed its intention to carry out medical expert training and education, transfer of high-tech medical devices, technology and skills, cooperation in the pharmaceutical area and joint R&D, etc based upon the Executive Program that it signed with Korea.

Prior to the signing of the Program, Goh, Kyung Seok, Healthcare and Medical Policy Director Goh, Kyung Seok explained to the Minister of Health of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in a consultation meeting that;

Recently Korean medicine is being highly recognized in the Middle Eastern area and as a result, cooperation in the area of healthcare and medical service with the Middle Eastern countries is being expanded including MOU and the contract on transfer of patients, etc.

With Korea’s experiences and know-hows that has made Korea become a world-class medical service country in the shortest period of time, Korea will provide its full support for the development of the healthcare and medical science in Saudi Arabia.

He emphasized his hope that Korean medical institutions will be given a chance to participate in creation and modernization of the large scale medical city, which is a national project of the Saudi Government and Korea’s high quality medical devices and medicines will be introduced into the Saudi market.

* Saudi Arabia is executing the establishment of 162 medical facilities including 86 newly built hospitals with the budget of 10 billion dollars at the governmental level.

- 42 institutions with infrastructure renovations, 86 newly built institutions, 20 diabetes-specialized institutions, 7 dental clinics and 7 local blood banks and labs

In response to Goh’s comment, Minister of Health of Saudi Arabia also said that he expects tangible results to be achieved by expanding cooperation in the field of healthcare and medicine between the two nations based upon excellent medical facilities and skills just as over the past thirty years, many Koreans have come to Saudi Arabia to help the nation grow as it is today.

He added that since Saudi patients are going to foreign countries for organ transplant, cooperation in the areas of cancer treatment, organ transplant and chronic disease care such as diabetes in which Korea is known to excel is necessary.

In the meantime, Ministry of Health and Welfare said that as of Janadria Festive, the biggest cultural festival in Saudi Arabia, which was being held with Korea invited as a major guest country in celebration of 50th anniversary of official relationship between Korea and Saudi Arabia, Korea carried out promotion activities to make Korean Medicine known to more Saudi people such as distribution of Korean medical service promotion brochures and showing of the Korean medical service promotion video, etc.

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