Since the creation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia by His Majesty the late King Abdul Aziz, the state has been highly concerned with health care. There has been a sustained attempt at enhancing the health care sector across the kingdom in general and within the Armed Forces in particular. Efforts have been inexorably exerted since His Royal Highness the Crown Prince & Inspector General has assumed the responsibility for the Ministry of Defense and Aviation these efforts have been increased. The objective of these efforts has been to achieve a quantum leap in the quality of service to the Armed Forces members and their kin. Many major specialized hospitals and health care centers have been established across the kingdom. The hospitals have been supplied with modern equipment, up-to-the-minute medical practitioners, modern methods and well trained Saudi administrators.
The KSA Armed Forces decided on establishing medical facilities in Taif in the Hijri Year 1367 (corresponding to 1947G) resulting in a 10 bed dispensary. In the Hijri Year 1370 (corresponding to 1950G) the dispensary was named “The Military Health Care”. In the Hijri Year 1371 (corresponding to 1951G) the Prince Mansour Military Hospital was inaugurated in Taif with a capacity of 36 beds which by the end of the year was increased to 100 beds. In the Hijri Year 1373 (corresponding to 1953G) the Prince Mashaal Hospital was inaugurated in Kharj, in the same year the Armed Forces Hospital was inaugurated in Riyadh. On the 29/12/1392 (corresponding to 3 February 1973G) His Excellency the Crown Prince, Minister of Defense & Aviation and Inspector General decreed the change of the title to be “The General Directorate of Medical Services of the Armed Forces”. The service has developed to encompass the entire Armed Forces and it has been allocated an independent budget since the Hijri fiscal year 1394/1395 (corresponding to 1974/1975G).
Developing the Human Resources and Medical Practitioners
The General Directorate of Medical Services of the Armed Forces seeks to obtain highly qualified medical practitioners to provide cutting-edge medical services for the Armed Forces members. Saudi nationals are encouraged to join the field of medical services and receive the best possible training. Saudi graduates including physicians, pharmacists and other ancillary medical calibers have been recruited to provide the best possible service. As a result of theses efforts by the General Directorate of Medical Services of the Armed Forces the number of qualified Saudi youth has multiplied.
Developing the Saudi Community
The General Directorate of Medical Services of the Armed Forces contributes to the Saudi community through awareness campaigns, vaccination against epidemics and virulent diseases that ruin children. The directorate also contributes to the development plans of the Saudi community in the fields of medical education. It encourages qualified national practitioners to pursue comprehensive medical practices and ongoing education. The directorate participates in residential development through constructing the necessary residential units required by hospitals staff.