The Ministry of Health has been allocated SR600 million to expand neonatal intensive care units for five cities and their surrounding regions. The regions are Riyadh, Jeddah, Madinah, Dammam and Asir.
Deputy Health Minister for Hospital Affairs, Dr. Aqeel Al-Ghamdi, said an additional SR200 million has been allocated to upgrade current neonatal intensive care units throughout the Kingdom.
He added: "This comes as part of our solution to overcome the current shortage of incubators and beds at neonatal intensive care units.
"We further raised the capabilities of these units by updating the equipment and enhancing the skills of workers at these units.
"Also, in case there are not enough vacant incubators or beds at our neonatal intensive care units, we are relying on other governmental hospitals to meet the shortfall and will even resort to private sector hospitals if necessary."
Al-Ghamdi said the problem of providing proper neonatal care in hospitals is not purely limited to the Kingdom.
"It comes very often as the result of a lack of well qualified and trained personnel in the field and that prevents them from expanding or increasing the level of care."
Some observers attributed the shortage in neonatal healthcare provision in the Kingdom to a constantly increasing birthrate.
The Saudi Gazette