RIYADH – SPA
Crown Prince Salman Bin Abdul Aziz, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense, who chaired the Council of Ministers session here Monday, reassured everyone about the health of King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and prayed to Allah Almighty for the good health and fast recovery of the King.
The Cabinet approved establishing of a “National Center for Health Information.” The center will be linked to the Health Services Council and will be connected through a network of information with the Ministry of Health, medical services in the military, university hospitals, and other related agencies. The center will be the main agency for provision, organization and exchange of health information among health facilities. It will create a unique electronic health file for each patient by electronically linking medical records in various health sectors, including hospitals and community health centers. The center will collect and set up research data on common diseases and epidemics in coordination with competent authorities.
The center will have a general manager reporting to the Secretary General of the Health Services Council. Within the organizational structure of the center, national health unit will be established to set up a national health accounts system which will analyze financial flaws in the health system.
Approval was also given for converting the Research and Studies Department at the secretariat of the Council of Health Services into the “Center for Health Research and Studies,” Minister of Culture and Information Dr. Abdulaziz Khoja said in a statement to Saudi Press Agency (SPA) after the Cabinet session.
The Cabinet also approved the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) standard customs tariff which will be effective from Jan. 1, 2012.
The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Kuwait will contribute equal proportions in the form of grants and through bilateral coordination to the GCC countries development program, the Cabinet said.
It also gave the go-ahead for the use of smart cards as proof of identity for GCC nationals in transactions in public and private sectors in member states. Approval was also given for the creation of a GCC countries customs federation.
The Cabinet also approved the GCC plan to combat non-communicable diseases.
Earlier, the Cabinet was briefed on reports on the latest developments in Arab, regional and international arenas. It stressed in this context the importance of the cease-fire agreement between Palestinian and Israeli sides, and called for concerted efforts to ensure Israel implements this agreement and works to lift the inhumane siege of Gaza Strip.
The Cabinet reviewed scientific, cultural, and economic activities and the Kingdom’s participation in meetings in international arenas. It expressed its appreciation of the international support for the initiative of King Abdullah interfaith dialogue, which culminated Monday in the inauguration of the King Abdullah International Center for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue in Vienna. The center aims at spreading human values, promotion of tolerance and seeking the achievement of peace, security and stability.