A “DIRE” needs orientation to Saudi health services leadership

Hussein Mohammed Al‐Borie (Department of Health Services and Hospital Administration, Faculty of Economics and Administration, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)
Muhammad Tanweer Abdullah (Department of Health Services and Hospital Administration, Faculty of Economics and Administration, King Abdulaziz University, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia)

Leadership in Health Services

ISSN: 1751-1879

Publication date: 25 January 2013

Abstract

Purpose

In recent years, effective leadership initiatives have been emphasized in the healthcare industry all over the world. This paper aims to examine contemporary healthcare development in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and prescribe four essential policy dimensions to its leadership, depicting the imperative needs for direction, integration, revision, and evidence – the “DIRE needs” approach.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews literature on the contemporary KSA health system and provides guidelines for policy reforms vis‐à‐vis the emerging challenges.

Findings

First, the paper offers a conceptual model to examine the ongoing and future health policy development of the KSA. It identifies four key policy dimensions – direction, integration, revision, and evidence and links these to the scope of broader health sector reforms. Second, it characterizes these dimensions as key initiatives for health resource capacity and infrastructural development, essentially the primary health care, which need to be taken up by KSA mainstream health services leadership. Third, it underlines the importance of integrating institutional research and information systems for evidence‐based policy‐making and practicable implementation. Fourth, it offers a social science research perspective to the need for multi‐dimensional health policy reforms in the KSA.

Research limitations/implications

This paper opens up KSA health leadership initiatives that may be viewed as the DIRE needs, to be mainstreamed in the domains of policy and strategic planning, research and development, and healthcare management practices.

Originality/value

Social research in KSA health policy and planning is rare. This paper introduces a context‐specific multi‐dimensional model that provides critical insights into challenges and complexities that the Saudi health leadership must attend to. It defines a set of four essential benchmarking dimensions for guiding future policy reforms.

Keywords

Citation

Mohammed Al‐Borie, H. and Tanweer Abdullah, M. (2013), "A “DIRE” needs orientation to Saudi health services leadership", Leadership in Health Services, Vol. 26 No. 1, pp. 50-62. https://doi.org/10.1108/17511871311291723

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2013, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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