1,373 Health Ministry employees get foreign scholarships

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SOURCE: Saudi Gazette

Time: March 28, 2018

JEDDAH – The Health Ministry sent 1,373 employees last year on foreign scholarships to pursue higher studies at reputable international universities, against 1,358 in the previous year, an official report said.

About 32 percent of these employees enrolled in master’s degree programs, 25 percent in doctorate programs and fellowships while 33 percent in bachelor’s programs. In the previous year 36.3 percent enrolled in doctorate programs and fellowships.

Britain, Australia, Germany and the US accepted 88 percent of the ministry’s scholarship students with Britain taking 32 percent, Australia 25.5 percent, Germany 20.5 percent and US 10 percent, the report explained.

The ministry gave scholarships to 7,870 employees to pursue higher studies in Saudi universities, including 3,459 doctors, or 44 percent, and 3,947 employees in other positions for bridging program, 464 for master’s degrees while 590 medical graduates joined internships.

The ministry has renewed contracts of 45,086 non-Saudi doctors and other medical staff. Regional offices have been given the power to renew contracts of foreign workers with less than 10 years service in the Kingdom.

The departments of contract worker relations in regional health offices have been given access to the ministry’s electronic contracting system as well as the power to renew or extend contracts, the report said.

Meanwhile, the hospitals and health centers under the ministry observed the World Tuberculosis Day on March 24 by organizing various programs. The day is observed to enlighten the public on the disease and encourage them to take precautionary measures against it.

“Wanted: Leaders for a TB-free world” was the main theme this year and was aimed at building commitment to end TB, not only at the political level with heads of state and ministers of health, but at all levels from mayors, governors, parliamentarians and community leaders, to people affected with TB, civil society advocates, health workers, doctors or nurses, NGOs and other partners.

“All can be leaders of efforts to end TB in their own work or terrain,” said a ministry official.

This is a critical theme, given the political importance of the upcoming UN General Assembly meeting on TB this year, which will bring together heads of state in New York.

“World TB Day provides the opportunity to shine the spotlight on the disease and mobilize political and social commitment to accelerate programs to eradicate TB,” the official said.

Last year, WHO reported that 10.4 million people fell ill with TB and there were 1.8 million TB deaths in 2016, making it the top infectious killer worldwide.


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