RIYADH — The number of Saudis working in private healthcare and social welfare operations in the Kingdom increased by 15.4% in a year, reaching 209,095 citizens at the end of the third quarter of 2021. At the end of the same period in 2020, their number was 177,037.

The total number of workers in the sector reached 444,930 at the end of the third quarter of 2021, with foreign workers making up about 53%, or 235,835 employees.

The number of Saudi women working in the health sector now is higher than that of their foreign counterparts. About 52.6% or 96,281out of 183,075 female employees are Saudis, compared to 86,794 foreign women.

Male employees accounted for the highest proportion of the total, with their number reaching 261,855, according to Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper.

This comes at a time when the localization of jobs in the health specialties and medical devices sector will be implemented in all regions of the Kingdom, starting on April 11, 2022.

Eng. Ahmed Alrajhi, Minister of Human Resources and Social Development (HRSD), had issued two decisions to localize jobs in health specialties and medical devices in all regions of the Kingdom, in continuation of the ministry's efforts to create an appropriate and stimulating work environment for male and female citizens and to expand their participation in the labor market.

The first decision was concerned with localizing the jobs of medical laboratories, radiology, physiotherapy and therapeutic nutrition in all medical facilities operating in the Kingdom, with a minimum salary of SR7000 for the specialist and SR5000 for the technician. The localization rate will be 60% of the total of workers in the targeted health specialties.

The second decision was about the localization of the medical devices and equipment sector, where the targeted professions include sales, advertising and marketing of medical devices. The sector will be localized by 40% in the first phase and 80% in the second phase. The minimum salary will be SR7000 for engineers, specialists and bachelor’s degree holders, and SR5000 for technicians and diploma holders.

The two decisions are expected to generate more than 8,500 jobs for citizens. The ministry has issued procedural guidelines explaining the details and mechanisms for their implementation to ensure the commitment of establishments and stressed the application of penalties against violating establishments. Additionally, it is working on providing packages of incentives to support private sector establishments hiring Saudis.

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