Research Proposal: Development of Health Management System in Saudi Arabia

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Healthcare in Saudi Arabia

Project Title: Development of Health Management Systems in Saudi Arabia

Geopolitical Overview

Within the global healthcare model there are various expressions of appropriateness of care. In the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, for instance, healthcare has always been the purview of the government, funded at the behest of the ruling family, designed for a predominately young or middle aged population, and certainly not designed for the increasing urbanization and economic improvements that oil and natural gas have brought to the region. In addition, changing demographics in the Kingdom make it necessary to rethink the model of healthcare.

A geopolitical and cultural background of the country and comparison with the region is first provided to engage the reader in the synergism between these issues and healthcare management in the region. The focus is then turned to a newer model of contemporary health care - effective communication and the use of modern technological tools. Effective software and multi-platform communications by healthcare professionals takes the concern and worry out of many health care issues, and makes better control and dissipation of information possible. For this reason, we have decided to purchase and implement a multidisciplinary software program, specifically designed for the healthcare model, called Interactive Healthcare Solutions (IHC). IHC is a powerful tool that has modules available that incorporates every aspect of the healthcare model: Human Resources, Marketing, Finance, Records, Scheduling, Purchasing, Benefit Solutions, Interdepartmental Communications, and high-level reporting capabilities. The development and implementation strategies of the program are articulated, and individual departmental issues are assessed for synergistic development.

Chapter 1.0 -- Overview and Background

1.1 -- Geopolitical Overview

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, occupying most of the Arabian Peninsula, is located in the southwestern corner of Asia. More than half of its total area is desert terrain. The capital of Saudi is Riyadh, which is located in the central region of the country. Saudi Arabia's official language is Arabic, although English is also spoken in the Kingdom, most commonly in the business community. The official religion of Saudi is Islam. Two of the holiest Islamic cities, Makkah and Medina, are located within its borders. Makkah is the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad, and is the focal point of the Islamic Pilgrimage. Medinah is where the Prophet Muhammad lived. The Kingdom's Judicial System stems from traditional Islamic Law and the Holy Qur'an (Library of Congress, 2007).

There are approximately 21 million people in the Kingdom. Although most are Saudi Nationals, many outsiders from the U.S. And surrounding Arabic nations come to Saudi Arabia for various employment opportunities. In fact, a large percentage of Saudi nationals do not work because of the lucrative returns from oil revenues. For those less fortunate, the Saudi work week is from Saturday through Wednesday with the weekend being Thursday and Friday because the Muslim holy day of the week is Friday. Businesses are usually closed during the heat of the day, for prayer and resting. Business hours are generally 8:00am-noon and 4:00pm-6:00pm ("Saudi Arabia," BBC, 2009).

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia a monarchy headed by King Fahd Bin Adbul Aziz. The government is made up of the King, the Crown Prince, and the King's Council of Ministers. The Kingdom is divided into thirteen regions. Each is headed by an Emir (governor) who is appointed by the King. Emirs generally handle local affairs. The modern kingdom of Saudi Arabia was founded on September 23, 1932 by King Abdul Aziz Al-Saud. Shortly thereafter, oil was discovered and to this day, remains the basis of its economic development. Saudi Arabia accounts for more than a quarter of the world's total oil revenues. Saudi's largest non-petroleum sector is agriculture. It provides around ten percent of the country's revenue. Crops consist of wheat, rice, corn, and dates. Gains are also being made in poultry, dairy and livestock (sheep and camels) (Ibid).

1.2 the Arab World - Prior to discussing the healthcare situation in the country, it is advisable to understand the perspective of Saudi Arabia within the Gulf Region as a whole. In order to better understand the situation in Saudi Arabia, it is valuable to look at the environment in the Gulf States in general. Like many of the Central and Latin American countries, political upheavals, military conflicts, sanctions and embargoes have impacted many of the Arabian economies of the region causing declines in productivity and disrupting markets. This is not necessarily the case in Saudi Arabia because it has maintained close ties with the United States and has generally remained outside the military conflicts that have plagued the region. Problems associated with recovering from the ravages of war including substantial debt does not impact Saudi Arabia directly but it does indirectly influence the country's prospects for economic growth because of reduced ability to trade with its neighbors. Regardless of a particular nation's economic status, Gulf countries exhibit a substantial lag behind other regions in terms of participatory governance, something that is a significant issue for Saudi Arabia because the views and behavior of the Saudi royal family differ significantly from its overall populace that has come to resent its position, viewing it as abandoning traditional Arab and Muslim views and "selling out" to the United States. The wave of democracy that transformed governance in most of Latin America and East Asia in the 1980s and Eastern Europe and much of Central Asia in the late 1980s and early 1990s has barely reached the Arab States. Constitutions, legal codes and government pronouncements signify a de jure acceptance of democracy and human rights but in many cases this represents something that is "on the books" but is really not implemented and in some cases deliberately disregarded. Most Gulf countries are characterized by a powerful executive branch that exerts significant control over the other branches in government, reducing or eliminating the efficacy of a system of checks and balances ("Saudi Arabia," Population, 2009; Noland, 2007).

In many ways, the Gulf countries are a mass of contradictions. For example, Gulf countries have exhibited the fastest improvements in female education of any region including literacy rates that have expanded three-fold since 1970, female primary and secondary rates that have more than doubled during that time. In contrast, greater educational opportunities have not significantly impacted social attitudes and norms that stress the roles of wife and mother, with a maternal mortality rate double that of Latin America and the Caribbean and four times East Asia, while more than half of Arab women remain illiterate. Women also experience unequal citizenship and legal entitlements in terms of voting rights and legal codes, something that is contrary to the teachings of Islam, illustrating only one of the ways that Gulf societies have created social norms that do not necessarily mesh with the principles of the most prevalent religion that is also cited in the development of terrorism and the prevalence of terrorist groups in the region. The Human Development Report indicates that one of the greatest barriers to real development in the region is relative to education "bridled minds, shackled potential." About 65 million adult Arabs remain illiterate; two thirds of which are women, although illiteracy rates are much higher in the poorer countries. Ten million of the children between six and fifteen do not attend school and if current trends persist, considering current population growth, that number will increase to forty million by 2015. Gulf countries' access to and use of cutting edge technology is also considerably limited with only .6% of populations using the Internet and a personal computer penetration rate of 1.2% ("Human Development Report," 2008).

Despite modest levels of inflation and budget deficits, growth continues to stagnate in many Gulf countries, a situation that is significantly tied to the price of oil the quality of public institutions is low and critical macro variables such as employment, savings, productivity and non-oil exports is still under performing. Unemployment is a significant issue that impacts human development as well as overall economic progress. Trade performance remains sluggish as the region continues to be relatively closed with high tariffs and non-tariffs that impede trade. Exports from the region (over 70% of which are oil and oil-related products) grew only 1.5% annually, far below the six percent global rate. Manufacturing exports remain stagnant and private-capital flows lag behind other regions although Gulf governments are taking steps to improve the situation through policy initiatives that promote trade expansion as an engine of economic and technological development. Governments have made strides in establishing greater infrastructure and promoting dynamic private-sector development is a critical priority of economic governance among Gulf States (Henry, 2001). Many governments have also taken considerable steps in liberalizing the private sector but much remains to be done. Sound macroeconomic policies need to be maintained; adequate economic space needs to be provided for private initiative; central banks, banking systems in general, and financial services need to be strengthened; bureaucracy needs to be streamlined and red tape minimized. In addition, greater regional economic cooperation is critical to economic growth.… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Development of Health Management System in Saudi Arabia.  (2009, August 22).  Retrieved May 20, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/development-health-management-system/266767

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