Fake Certificates: MOH Blacklists Over 740 Doctors

RIYADH, 5 January 2003 — The Ministry of Health has blacklisted 742 doctors of different nationalities whose educational certificates were either fake or otherwise found not to be in order.

The highest number — 223 — was from Egypt, according to a report released by the MOH. The blacklisted doctors also include 11 Britons, eight Americans and one Saudi, the report added.

Some of the doctors were also found to be suffering from infectious diseases.

More than 31,400 doctors, including 6,218 Saudis, and 66,500 nurses are currently employed by the government and private hospitals in the Kingdom.

The report said that coordination is under way between the health affairs and labor departments to amend regulations for the recruitment of doctors and medical technicians.

A separate department under the supervision of the Riyadh Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be set up soon to streamline the recruitment process.

A number of patients contacted by Arab News have complained about the inefficiency of doctors working in various hospitals, especially in private clinics.

Complaints include wrong diagnosis, unnecessary medical investigations, prolonged hospitalization, non-availability of doctors by appointment and carelessness on the part of doctors and staff in handling serious cases.

Meanwhile, Minister of Health Dr. Osama Shubokshi said his ministry’s budget for the year is SR14 billion, in addition to SR135 million carried over from last year.

The ministry will undertake several new developmental projects this year, Al-Watan newspaper reported yesterday.

According to the budgetary allocations SR2.45 billion is earmarked for salaries, SR3.29 billion is allocated for maintenance and operations, SR971 million will be spent on the construction of new projects in several parts of the Kingdom. The projects include both general and specialist hospitals.

Dr. Shubokshi added that SR102 million has been allocated for furnishing and supplying furniture for eight hospitals to be commissioned in Qassim, Najran, Taif, Jizan, Tabuk and Riyadh this year.

A number of health institutes and colleges will be opened with an initial investment of SR55 million. Shubokshi will be holding a meeting with undersecretaries and assistant undersecretaries of his ministry and directors of health affairs to discuss the features of the new budget this morning.

In another development, Dr. Mansour Al-Hawasi, assistant undersecretary at the Ministry of Health, said consultant doctors in government hospitals are allowed to work privately after their regular hours and on holidays, Okaz newspaper reported yesterday.

He expressed his hope that this system would end the drain of highly qualified doctors to the private sector.

However, only Saudi doctors will be given the permission for private practice.

The new regulation also stipulates that the doctors should be Saudis in the grade of a consultant and have registered with the Saudi Medical Specialization Commission, the paper said.

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