Jeddah, Bandar Al-Khorayef, Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Industrial Development Center, and Tawfiq bin Fawzan Al Rabeeah, Minister of Health – in the presence of Advisor at the Royal Court and General Supervisor of King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSrelief) Dr. Abdullah Al Rabeeah, and a number of senior officials, have inaugurated the first ventilator that was made in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in line with international standards, as part of the efforts of the industry and mineral resources to localize medical industries and achieve self-sufficiency in basic medical industries and health security in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Al-Khorayef said, “We are proud today to register a qualitative achievement that joins other continuous achievements of our beloved homeland, through inaugurating the firs ventilator with international standards that was manufactured proudly in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,” stressing that this achievement is a proof of the development of our national industries to new levels in light of the support that was offered by generous directives from the wise leadership through various initiatives that played a big role in overcoming hardships in the industrial sector and having a solid industrial base in our country. He asserted that it is part of responding to the industrial sector’s demand for these devices and needing them in the current phase that is still witnessing the repercussions of the pandemic.
He added: “This important step comes in a time the entire world is facing enormous challenges in light of the ongoing implications of the COVID-19 pandemic and what it causes of impacts on daily supply chains and basic equipment, mainly in the health care sector, where the outbreak of the pandemic contributed to speeding up plans for the development of industry in several priority sectors," stressing that the procedures followed by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in dealing with the pandemic were appreciated by the international organizations, in light of quick response of national factories to provide medical supplies and cover the high demand at the time.
The minister stressed that this achievement was realized through complementary efforts among agencies in the industrial system and the health sector, represented by the Ministry of Health, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority, and the Local Content and Government Procurement Authority, in addition to the private sector that was up to the responsibility and played an effective role, noting that the industrial sector has become more attractive to investments with higher ability to attract local and foreign capitals.
For his part, the Minister of Health expressed pride and happiness over this achievement that highlights the support and interest of the wise leadership to national industries, noting that manufacturing medical devices is among complicated and advanced industries, mainly ventilators due to direct connection with patients. He affirmed the ministry’s keenness to keep pace with the latest international technologies in the field of medical devices.
He also stressed that the ministry seeks to realize the Kingdom Vision 2030 in cooperation with the Ministry of Industry and Mineral Resources and the Local Content and Government Procurement Authority and other relevant institutions through supporting the national companies and factories to localize the manufacturing of medical devices, noting that manufacturing these devices will contribute to facing the COVID-19 pandemic due to the continuous need for these devices at hospitals.
Meanwhile, the National Industrial Development Center said that the Pioneers Technical Systems Company has received the accreditation of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority after meeting organizational requirements to be able to manufacture the first ventilator, model number PB560, in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, stressing that the center, since the outbreak of the pandemic, has received several applications to localize the industry of ventilators.
The center also noted that it worked on designing an internal platform to help specialists focus and offer necessary technical consultation, coordination and governance with relevant institutions to identify the best courses of localization through self-development or manufacturing through open-source designs, or partnering with international experts.
The center also added that, following directives by the Minister of Industry and Mineral Resources, a team was formed from the National Industrial Development Center with the membership of the Ministry of Health and Health Affairs at the National Guard, the Local Content and Government Procurement Authority, NUPCO and several government agencies to supervise and follow up on development works and offer technical and logistic support to facilitate movement and conduct safety and performance tests on devices of companies during curfew hours in the last year.
It also said that there were nine institutions that offered prototypes for the committee, which resulted in granting the Pioneers Technical Systems Company a marketing permission, where work is going on seriously by other factories to receive necessary permits to start production. The Pioneers company will work on producing some 6,000 devices each year with a rate of local content of 48%.
It added that this agreement shows the level of international confidence in the Saudi market and a good indicator for the impact of improvements that were made in the investment environment to attract the international companies, such as the Medtronic company, which is a global leader in medical technology and services.
Source: Saudi Press Agency