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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Over a third of medical consultations in Saudi Arabia are done via digital channels, said Ahmed Al-Suwaiyan, governor of Digital Government Authority.
Speaking on the first day of the Digital Government Forum in Riyadh on Tuesday, Al-Suwaiyan said it indicated the level of success with which the Kingdom is moving toward digital transformation in all spheres of life ensuring increased productivity, efficiency, and transparency, reported Al-Ekhbariya.
The forum aims to showcase the Kingdom’s achievements in the field of digital technology and serve as a platform for industry players to boost networking and explore opportunities.
The event seeks to facilitate exchanging experiences, building partnerships, discussing challenges and future directions of digital government as well as exploring cutting-edge technical practices and highlighting investment opportunities in the Kingdom.
He cited the example of Absher to drive home his point about digital transformation.
The all-purpose “Absher platform helped the country save more than $6 billion (SR23 billion),” he said.
Absher is an electronic platform of the Ministry of Interior that provides basic services of the ministry digitally and in an integrated manner to citizens, residents, and visitors.
Al-Suwaiyan said: “Thirty-six percent of medical consultations in the Kingdom are provided remotely (via digital channels).”
“We saved over SR5.5 billion through the budget preparation and implementation process,” he added.
The president of the Court of Grievances of Saudi Arabia, Khalid bin Mohammed Al-Yousef, spoke about how digital transformation in the Kingdom has come a long way.
“The Government Entities Portal will be launched to manage digital services,” Al-Yousef revealed.
“The use of artificial intelligence in the judiciary helped in making decisions,” he added.
The assistant minister of foreign affairs for executive affairs, Abdulhadi bin Ahmed Al-Mansouri, told the audience how the Kingdom launched the e-Visa platform. He highlighted the importance of the portal and how it will benefit people in a hassle-free manner.
Speaking on the occasion, the CEO of the Saudi Authority for Intellectual Property, Abdulaziz bin Mohammed Al-Suwailem, said: Thanks to digital technology “rights owners can move from the concept of registering and proving rights to managing the intellectual property portfolio in an integrated manner.”
The CEO of the Saudi Food and Drug Authority, Hisham bin Saad Al-Jadhaie, also participated in the event. Al-Jadhaie explained the goal of the entity is to use AI to ensure the safety of drug shipments before their arrival.
The assistant minister of interior for technology affairs, Bandar bin Abdullah Al-Mishari, said: “The ministry faces a major challenge to integrate fieldwork with AI.”
Giving Qatar’s point of view in terms of digital transformation, the assistant undersecretary for digital government affairs, in Qatar’s Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, Mashael Al-Hammadi, talked about the country’s investment during the World Cup.
“During the World Cup, we invested approximately $280 million in the communications and information technology sectors,” Al-Hammadi said.
The CEO of Bahrain’s Information and eGovernment Authority, Mohammed bin Ali Al-Qaed, shed light on how legislation and policies are the most important data enablers for a controlled exchange of information.
Launched by the Digital Government Authority, the two-day forum is being held under the theme “Our Future Now.”
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