Jeddah, Saudi Arabia: The Health Ministry‘s expenditures over the past five years increased from SR29.29 billion to SR53.73 billion, an increase of about 83 percent. According to a study detailing the ministry’s expenditures between 2008 and 2012 issued by the ministry on Wednesday, total spending during the period amounted to SR207.228 billion. Spending on human resources amounted to SR128.428 billion, which reflects a spending increase of 95 percent.
Spending on medical operations amounted to 14 percent at SR28.984 billion, representing a 60 percent increase in spending, while expenditures on non-medical operations amounted to 6 percent at SR12.351 billion, an increase of 75.5 percent; 11.8 percent, or SR24.443 billion, covered capital assets, an increase of 34.4 percent. Public services expenses were to the tune of SR6.3 billion; SR656 million covered preventative medicine expenses; and SR5.7 billion covered expenses on treatment outside the ministry’s facilities (local and international).
According to Aqab bin Aboud, director general of resources at the Health Ministry, expenditures on human resources accounted for the largest share of the budget — about two-thirds — whereas preventative medicine accounted for the least. Whereas the number of patients dropped from 65.3 million to 65.2 million in 2012, a decline of 0.2 percent, the increase in the number of inpatients did not exceed 4.6 percent, which is a very low percentage compared to the increase in spending, said Aboud.
The study pointed out that the family visit rate in public and psychiatric hospitals was lower in 2008 than in 2012, while the ratio was almost constant at childbirth and children’s hospitals over the period, which is a negative indicator. The rate of bed occupancy in hospitals in 2012 was lower than in 2008, with an average occupancy rate of 65.4 percent.
“These indicators show that the health services in 2008 were better than in 2012, despite the growth in spending by about 83 percent,” said Aboud.
© Arab News 2015Jul 2015