The first phase of a plan to replace expatriate pharmacists in Saudi Arabia went into effect Wednesday, according to media reports.
Twenty per cent of the profession will be initially “Saudised” starting from Wednesday according to a relevant official decision, the Saudi Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development said.
An estimated 21,530 foreign pharmacists are registered in Saudi Arabia, according to 2018 figures.
The Saudi consultative Shura Council last month voted for a proposal to ‘Saudise” the pharmacy sector, one of the biggest commercial activities in the kingdom. The sector is dominated by Arab expatriates, according to Saudi media.
The proposal approved by the council calls for limiting ownership of and work at pharmacies to Saudi nationals as part of the country’s drive to provide jobs for Saudi graduates of pharmacology schools. The author of the proposal argued that there are enough Saudi pharmacists to meet the local job market needs.
Foreigners make up about 10.5 million of Saudi Arabia’s total population of 34.8 million.