SNOMED International Welcomes the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s National Health Information Center to the SNOMED CT Community

London, United Kingdom, June 24, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — SNOMED International and the National Health Information Center (NHIC) are pleased to announce that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has recently joined as the organization's thirty–ninth Member.

The NHIC has been established pursuant to the Saudi royal decree no. 333 to be linked with health services and connected to an electronic network of health information with the Ministry of Health, medical services in the military bodies, university hospitals and other relevant government agencies. It is the vision of the Center to serve as the core axis of smart, safe and reliable digital information and healthcare services in the Kingdom and in doing so will provide, organize and exchange health information electronically among bodies of health sectors and other relevant bodies.

Through Membership in SNOMED International, the Kingdom and NHIC have committed support for structured terminology to address national tasks to standardize clinical terminology, names and definitions used in all health information systems and methods of collection. With the Kingdom's strategic aims to support transformation of electronic healthcare services along with facilitating the circulation of health data and information electronically safely, SNOMED CT is a valuable tool to be used throughout the country.

SNOMED CT is the world's most comprehensive health terminology. Founded in 2007 by nine charter nations, SNOMED International is a not–for–profit, member–owned and driven international organization. The addition of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has grown the organization's Membership to thirty–nine countries and territories across five continents and enables management and use SNOMED CT and other related products. Membership also extends to participation on the General Assembly, a critical governance role which includes responsibility for approval of the organization's budget and strategy.

"The Kingdom's Membership in SNOMED International will extend the footprint of clinical terminology in place in hospital and health information systems within Saudi Arabia. In line with the launch of the Kingdom's healthcare transformation strategy and Saudi's 2030 Vision, investment in digital health infrastructure such as clinical terminology standards will contribute to accomplishing these goals" says SNOMED International CEO, Don Sweete.

"SNOMED CT is internationally recognized as a powerful terminology for healthcare. Through our Membership in SNOMED International we are certain we can increase patient safety in the kingdom by eliminating errors occurring due to misinterpreted data, while fulfilling our National E– Health Strategy aligned with the Kingdom's healthcare transformation strategy and 2030 Vision" says the NHIC's General Director.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia becomes the third country within the Middle East region to join SNOMED International, further extending the SNOMED CT use, implementation experience and collaboration opportunities for the area.

To learn more about the National Health Information Center visit

To learn more about SNOMED International and SNOMED CT, visit

About SNOMED International:

SNOMED International is a not–for–profit organization that owns and develops SNOMED CT, the world's most comprehensive healthcare terminology product. We play an essential role in improving the health of humankind by determining standards for a codified language that represents groups of clinical terms. This enables healthcare information to be exchanged globally for the benefit of patients and other stakeholders. We are committed to the rigorous evolution of our products and services, to deliver continuous innovation for the global healthcare community. SNOMED International is the trading name of the International Health Terminology Standards Development Organization (IHTSDO.)

About the National Health Information Center:

The National Health Information Center (NHIC) has been given the mandate to further digital health and information technology across healthcare sectors in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The NHIC will provide a number of digital health and informatics services. The main objective of NHIC is to contribute to healthcare, and the public health in the kingdom through technology and standards. The NHIC acts as a healthcare hub of digital connectivity, identifies and standardizes health data, build an EHR to ensure national interoperability, adopt and facilitate international coding system and classification standards, contribute to research and statistics, etc. which follows the mandate listed in Saudi royal decree no. 333. The NHIC is responsible for distributing and managing SNOMED CT in Saudi Arabia, while also developing and maintaining its content to meet Saudi Arabian Requirements.


Liberalism and Developing Countries

A U.S. soldier stands watch at the Kindi IDP Resettlement Center near Baghdad, Iraq, Nov. 16, 2009. Credit: U.S. Navy Photo

By Leila Yasmine Khan and Daud Khan
AMSTERDAM/ROME, Jun 24 2019 – As China rapidly replaces Europe and the USA as the key player in developing countries, the Western press is full of articles about the dangers of dealing with the Chinese.

China, it is said, is not liberal and not democratic and hence is not a trustworthy partner in strategic and economic matters. An often cited example is that of Hambantota – a strategically located port that was handed over by the Sri Lankan Government to the Chinese in lieu of repayment of loans.

Of course closely corresponding examples of what was done by western countries is not mentioned such as Diego Garcia. This is a strategically located island in the middle of the Indian Ocean. In the late 1960s the USA and United Kingdom forcibly removed the local population and established a miltiary base.

Acts like that of Diego Garcia are justified by the excuse that they were necessary to dafeguard democarcy and liberalism. The most glaring recent example for western countries going to war to defend democracy is in Iraq.

Diplomatic pressure, collusion, corruption and, when necessary, war are justified by the fact that these other societies have systems and values distinct from the liberal ones

The USA invaded Iraq to save democratic countries (read Israel) from Iraqi weapons of mass destruction, and to liberate the Iraqi people from an undemocratic regime. This narrative had strong resonance in Congress, in the Senate, in the popular media and among the general public and created a groundswell of support for the Shock and Awe campaign.

In a few weeks over 1,500 air strikes were launched against Iraq and almost 7,000 civilians were killed. A triumphant President Bush was able to proudly announce “Mission Accomplished” to an adulating public and pave the way to a second term in office.

An important question for developing countries is:  are these patterns of behavior aberrations in what are otherwise free, peaceful and caring societies; or are they an integral part of the political systems of these countries?

Would things be different if more leaders of the western world were like Justin Trudeau? Would things be different if Hilary Clinton had won the election instead of Donald Trump? Will things be different if the aggressive tendencies of the deep state and occult elites, such as the military-industrial complex, are harnessed by more democratic institutions? In order to answer this we need to look a little into the political philosophy and social consensus that underpins these societies.

Over the last two to three centuries, the values espoused by the Enlightenment – freedom, equality, dignity and independence – have come to dominate the political and socio-economical mainstream in Europe and the USA.

This classical liberalism was complemented by shared views on social justice, the welfare state, and a reliance on the free market for the allocation of a society’s resources.  The view that the liberal, democratic, free-market system is the best way to organize society is now widely shared in the West.

A somewhat deeper look suggests that aggression and exploitation are not an aberration but are very much part of western liberalism. In their critique to John Rawls’ liberal theory, modern political philosophers such as Charles W. Mills, Leif Wenar and Branko Milanovic point out that a liberal society is “a cooperative venture for mutual advantage” regulated by rules for advancing the interests “of those taking part in it”.

The practical manifestation of this is that the social commitment to liberal beliefs often tends to translate into a belief that if the system is under threat, or perceived to be under threat, it is legitimate to defend it against others – by violence when necessary.

As a result the values of peace, freedom and liberty, which are the pillars of western liberal society, tend not to be extended to countries outside this system. Diplomatic pressure, collusion, corruption and, when necessary, war are justified by the fact that these other societies have systems and values distinct from the liberal ones.

As in the case of the Iraq war, the 9/11 attacks and the perceived threat to democracy, and the western way of life, created an unprecedented wave of popular indignation.  It was considered more than sufficient cause to bomb Afghanistan back to the stone-age and to threaten other countries with a similar fate.

History abounds with similar examples where liberal societies have had no qualms about going to war with the excuse of bringing civilization, trade or democracy to other countries. In the same vein, western democracies have no second thoughts about making alliances with repressive and undemocratic regimes whenever it suited them.

The fact that western liberal societies are capable of colonialism and war does not mean that China is going to be a heaven-sent, or that developing countries should abandon our progress towards liberal values such as tolerance, freedom and equality. However, it does mean that they should not get swayed by the anti-China rhetoric of the western press but take a pragmatic approach way for the good of the country.


Leila Yasmine Khan is an independent writer and editor based in the Netherlands. She has Master’s in Philosophy and a Master’s in Argumentation and Rhetoric from the University of Amsterdam, as well as a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from the University of Rome (Roma Tre).

Daud Khan a retired UN staff based in Rome. He has degrees in economics from the LSE and Oxford – where he was a Rhodes Scholar; and a degree in Environmental Management from the Imperial College of Science and Technology.