Our goal is to promote and reinvigorate social development in order to build a strong and productive society. We will strengthen our families, provide the education that builds our children’s fundamental characters and establish empowering health and social care systems.
Families are the key building block of a society, protecting it from social breakdown across generations, and acting as both its children’s sanctuary and the main provider of their needs. One of the defining characteristics of the Kingdom is its adherence to Islamic principles and values, together with the unity and extended family relations. Building on these key characteristics, we will provide our families with all the necessary support to take care of their children and develop their talents and abilities. In particular, we want to deepen the participation of parents in the education process, to help them develop their children’s characters and talents so that they can contribute fully to society. Families will also be encouraged to adopt a planning culture, to plan carefully for their future and the futures of their children. We recognize each family’s aspiration to own a home and the important role ownership plays in strengthening family security. Even though 47 percent of Saudi families already own their homes, we aim to increase this rate by five percentage points by 2020. This would be a substantial achievement given the high increase in the number of new entrants to the housing market. We will meet this target by introducing a number of laws and regulations; encouraging the private sector to build houses; and providing funding, mortgage solutions and ownership schemes that meet the needs of our citizens.
We intend to embed positive moral beliefs in our children’s characters from an early age by reshaping our academic and educational system. Schools, working with families, will reinforce the fabric of society by providing students with the compassion, knowledge, and behaviors necessary for resilient and independent characters to emerge. The focus will be on the fundamental values of initiative, persistence and leadership, as well as social skills, cultural knowledge and self-awareness. We will also promote cultural, social, volunteering and athletic activities through empowering our educational, cultural and entertainment institutions.
We will continue modernizing our social welfare system to make it more efficient, empowering and just. Subsidies for fuel, food, water and electricity will be better utilized by redirecting them towards those in need. We will provide our most vulnerable citizens with tailored care and support. Together with the private sector and non-governmental organizations, we will offer preparation and training to those unable to find employment so they can smoothly join the workforce whenever possible.
Our health care system has benefited from substantive investment in recent decades. As a result, we now have 2.2 hospital beds for every 1,000 people, world-class medical specialists with average life expectancy rising from 66 years to 74 years in the past three decades. We are determined to optimize and better utilize the capacity of our hospitals and health care centers, and enhance the quality of our preventive and therapeutic health care services. The public sector will focus on promoting preventive care, on reducing infectious diseases and in encouraging citizens to make use of primary care as a first step. It will deepen collaboration and integration between health and social care, as well as supporting families to provide home care when necessary for their relatives. The public sector will focus on its planning, regulatory and supervisory roles in health care. We intend to provide our health care through public corporations both to enhance its quality and to prepare for the benefits of privatization in the longer term. We will work towards developing private medical insurance to improve access to medical services and reduce waiting times for appointments with specialists and consultants. Our doctors will be given better training to improve treatment for chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer that threaten our nation’s health.
The engagement of parents in their children’s education is one of the main principles of success. Our goal by 2020 is for 80 percent of parents to be engaged in school activities and the learning process of their children. We will launch the “Irtiqaa” program, which will measure how effectively schools are engaging parents in their children’s education. We will establish parent-led boards in schools, to open discussion forums and further engage with parents. Teachers will receive training to raise their awareness of the importance of communicating with parents and equip them with effective methods to do so successfully. We will also collaborate with private and non-profit sectors to offer innovative educational programs and events that can improve this academic partnership.Corporatization: efficient and high quality health care
Our goal is to enhance the standard and quality of health care services. Our aim is a health care sector that promotes competition and transparency among providers. This will enhance the capability, efficiency and productivity of care and treatment and increase the options available to our citizens. To achieve this goal, we will introduce corporatization into the sector by transferring the responsibility for health care provision to a network of public companies that compete both against each other and against the private sector. This will provide our citizens with the highest quality of health care while, at the same time, allowing the government to focus on its legislative, regulatory and supervisory roles. Corporatization shall also promote and prioritize specialization in health care services and enable citizens to choose their preferred service provider.
To raise our position from 26 to 10 in the Social Capital index
To increase the average life expectancy from 74 years to 80 years