Expat doctors outnumber Saudis

There are 102,000 expatriate doctors in the health industry and only 25,800 Saudi doctors

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There is a total of 317,000 expatriate health practitioners and doctors and only 139,000 Saudi health practitioners and doctors, according to the Ministry of Health.

A source from the ministry said hospitals and health institutions are in need of more medical staff. “The ministry has stopped renewing the contracts of certified doctors and health practitioners working in administrative positions.

There is a great number of Saudi employees with a degree in medicine who are occupying administrative positions when they could work as doctors,” said the source.

“There are 102,000 expatriate doctors in the health industry and only 25,800 Saudi doctors. There are also 39,000 expatriate pharmacists but only 7,000 Saudi pharmacists.

There are 137,000 expatriate nurses but only 72,000 Saudi nurses,” said the source. The source added that there are 33,000 Saudi specialists in applicable medicine and 8,000 expatriate specialists.

“The ministry aims to provide opportunities to Saudis over non-Saudis. Saudis with a medical qualification working in administrative positions are being reassigned into medical positions,” said the source.

Earlier this month Shoura Council members wanted the responsibility for recruiting expatriate workers to be shifted from the Ministry of Labor to the Ministry of Interior.

Shoura Council member Ali Al-Wizrah said the Ministry of Labor is not being fair to sponsors. There are 15 million expatriates in the Kingdom and 50,000 work visas are issued every day, he said.

“Have we looked at the crime rate in our country and correlated it with the number of expatriates? For some reason, the sponsor always pays the price for any mishap caused by the expatriate,” said Al-Wizrah.

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