JEDDAH — Public hospitals in various parts of the Kingdom continue to face a severe shortage of beds for patients suffering from chronic diseases despite huge government spending in the healthcare sector.

According to the Ministry of Health, the total number of beds available at 274 hospitals run by the ministry in the Kingdom is 41,835 t0 serve 31.74 million people. It means only 13 beds are available for every 10,000 people.

An informed source said 11,581 beds are available in hospitals belonging to the armed forces, security forces and universities. In addition, there are 470 private hospitals in the country with 17,428 beds.