Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah Abdulwali Nasher A Satement [Archives:1998/04/Local News]

January 26 1998

When I received my portfolio, the Ministry of Public Health was in a very bad administrative state in its main office, in its branches in the governorates, and in its hospitals. There is a lack in the first-aid programs, especially in the field of mother and baby care. The rate of infant mortality is 83 out of every 10,000, and the maximum number of mothers who die during labor is 10 out of every 10,000.
Malnutrition is very common among children. Recently, the average of the six fatal disease-vaccinations for children has increased from 1.85% (in the ’80s) to 20-30% (in the ’90s). In addition, there are shortages in medical services in public and private hospitals, which exist all over the country without any control or legal monitoring to ensure good quality services. These are the main problems we met. After long discussions, we suggest the following solutions: The administrative system should be improved and the medical staff re-trained, starting with the ministry and its branches in the governorates and ending in the private and public hospitals. For this purpose, we invited several teams of experts in medical administration. We invited professors from Britain, America and from the World Health Organization to offer medical services either in first-aid care in the hospitals or in administration in general.
We formed the new draft for the Ministry of Health which will be presented to the council of ministers to be signed and implemented. Through this draft, modernizing the health program will come into existence by improving the administration and periodically re-evaluate the performances of senior health officials. In other words, we are going to advertise about the senior positions. People will apply according to the qualities, qualifications, experience, etc., we demand in the advertisement. A special committee will choose the suitable people.
At the same time, we found that there are no rules to manage the medical services. We brought experts in this field in addition to our local experts and we ended up  introducing four major laws. The first law is the law of the public and private medical establishments. It is applied to control hospitals, senior health officials, diagnosis centers and all that concerns medical care. We drafted a law for the Yemeni medical council which aims to protect patients and guide doctors. According to this law, every working doctor in Yemen, either Yemeni or not, will be registered in this council after looking at his or her certificates. We also drafted a law for professional conduct and another for pharmaceutical products. These laws are ready to be presented to the council of ministers and then to the parliament to be assessed by them.