The history of health care in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with emphasis on pediatric surgery.

Abdullah Al-Rabeeah



The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is a large country with a population approaching 20 million people. It is a relatively young country, only united in 1932. The health services started with limited resources and very small clinics, and gradually reached highly sophisticated modern hospitals, medical centers and cities. The rapid growth of health services has also been accompanied by a well-planned saudization process in manpower, to run such services. This was reflected by investing in scholarships, training courses and finally establishing the Saudi Council for Health Specialties, which provide structured training programs. Pediatric surgery is one of the youngest specialties to grow in KSA. It only received attention after 1980. However, in over 20 years, it has rapidly grown to become a well-recognized specialty with approximately 50 pediatric surgery specialists and consultants practicing in the field. Also lately, the sub-specialty fellowship in pediatric surgery was approved as a 3-year training program following general surgery training. In summary, this review will highlight the rapid growth of health services in Saudi Arabia and the vision for the future to provide a modern medicine to parallel the country's growth and civilization.

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