Minister vows to root out corruption in Saudi health sector


Al-Manie said his ministry would announce next week the names of all employees fired because of involvement in administrative corruption.

He said the aim of publishing names was “not to defame them”, it was rather aimed at sending a message to other people that they would not go unpunished if they did the same.

Al-Manie is the first Saudi official to publicly announce that a ministry was firing a number of employees on charges of corruption after the Kingdom approved a national strategy to combat corruption last month.

On Feb. 19, the Council of Ministers decided to facilitate administrative procedures and question dishonest officials, irrespective of their positions, as part of a major move to root out all forms of corruption in the country.

Al-Manie had earlier announced that his ministry had fired three foreign employees in the ministry. According to the minister, the foreign workers fired on Feb. 26 were involved in stealing vaccines from public health centers and selling them to private clinics.

The minister also announced yesterday that within the next few months the Health Ministry would directly supervise a new medical college. The new college, which will be located in the King Fahd Medical City premises north of Riyadh, which will not operate under the umbrella of the Ministry of Higher Education.

“There is a royal decree which authorizes the Minister of Higher Education to recognize the medical university,” Al-Manie said during an inspection visit to the university’s location.

The minister did not specify how the medical college would operate or the procedures for accepting students.

He, however, said the medical college would be unique in the Middle East region in terms of facilities and academic programs. He also said that it was recognized internationally.

Al-Manie said that professors and students would be appointed to the new medical college as of June 16.

The contractor will complete the college’s structures by September, according to the minister.

Al-Manie hoped that the new college would help more Saudi students to graduate in medical sciences, saying there was “an acute shortage of Saudi doctors.” He said the new college would be able to accommodate over 200 students.


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