Shoura calls on MoH to check infectious diseases

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Acting Health Minister Adel Fakeih holds talks with Shoura Vice President Mohammed Al-Jifry in Riyadh on Wednesday. (SPA)

Acting Health Minister Adel Fakeih holds talks with Shoura Vice President Mohammed Al-Jifry in Riyadh on Wednesday. (SPA)

The Shoura Council on Wednesday met with acting Health Minister Adel Fakeih and other ministry officials to discuss the Kingdom’s preparedness to confront infectious diseases, such as the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and the Rift Valley Fever during the peak Umrah pilgrimage season in Ramadan.

“We would like to ascertain the ministry’s ability to deal with new infectious diseases, especially during the Haj and Umrah seasons,” said a member of the Shoura’s Health Affairs Committee. MERS has so far claimed 292 lives in the Kingdom.

The Shoura members also asked the minister about the construction status of five medical cities ordered by Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah at a cost of SR16 billion and the time frame for their implementation.

The committee also asked the minister about the performance of the Kingdom’s health cadre and ministry’s efforts to implement the family health care program and whether it has enough manpower to carry out the program. It advised the ministry to make use of Saudi medical graduates in different regions to improve health services across the country.

Shoura Vice President Mohammed Al-Jifry emphasized the importance of holding meetings with ministers and other government officials while discussing the annual performance of various government departments. “This will reflect on the quality of the Shoura’s decisions and recommendations,” he said.

Fakeih stressed the Health Ministry’s desire to establish continuous contact with the Shoura, especially the health committee, to benefit from their expertise in improving health services in the country. He also answered various queries from committee members on the ministry and its services.

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