JEDDAH — Saudi Arabia’s Digital Government Authority (DGA) has abolished more than 200 government digital platforms in two years.

Earlier, there were a total of 816 government platforms but some of them merged with others in course of time and at present, there are about 630 platforms, the authority said in a report, while unveiling its plans to bring down the number of platforms to around 200 with integration of services in the most efficient and fastest manner.

The authority has been successful in cutting down the number of digital platforms in eight government sectors from 160 to 20 platforms, through mergers and restructuring of digital government services.

Around 10 platforms were merged with the Health Ministry’s Sehhaty platform while four platforms were merged with Anat platform, which provides channels of communication for health practitioners. The authority has approved SEHA platform to accept sick leave of Ministry of Health employees from outside Saudi Arabia, with merging of five platforms with it.

In the transportation and logistics services sector, the authority approved the logistics platform with merger of 25 platforms with it, while Senai platform was adopted in the industry and mining sector with merger of eight platforms.

The report pointed to the adoption of the Balady and Furas platforms in the municipal, rural and housing affairs sector with the merger of 22 platforms. There are 10 platforms in the human resources and social development sector with a merger of 51 platforms with them. In the investment sector, the ‘Invest in Saudi Arabia’ platform was adopted with merger of 24 platforms with it, while the financial and procurement sector witnessed the adoption of the Etimad platform with merger of three platforms.

The Digital Government Authority Governor Ahmed Alsuwaiyan had said earlier that the Ministry of Justice dealt with 18 million clients visiting the courts annually due to the virtual courts, while more than 95 percent of the court sessions are conducted remotely, and 100 percent of the services are carried out electronically. The Civil Status courts required an average 219 days to complete the court procedures from receiving the case until the verdict is issued, he said while noting that today it required only less than 30 days.

The Ministry of Health owns the largest virtual hospital in the world, connecting more than 160 hospitals in the Kingdom, and providing over 200 types of services, he said while indicating that the goal is not virtual work, but rather good result and impact. “We are now watching open-heart operations that are conducted remotely using the virtual hospital. These virtual services have also contributed to reducing the use of beds and increasing their capacity to more than 40 percent for heart patients,” he said while noting that 25 percent of appointments are provided online.

Alsuwaiyan revealed the inability of any party to launch a government platform without permission from the authority. “The number of government services has reached 4,600, each platform provides approximately 10 services, and this is the reason for the increase in the number of platforms,” he added.

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