Hospitals accused of recommending unnecessary tests

Updated 24 December 2012
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Hospitals accused of recommending unnecessary tests

Private hospitals in Saudi Arabia make exorbitant gains from medical insurance companies by subjecting patients to multiple unjustified and unnecessary medical tests and surgical procedures, a number of patients and hospital reviewers have said.
The criticism comes at a time when many private hospitals in Saudi Arabia are facing a torrent of accusations related to medical errors, some of which have caused deaths. An example is Erfan Hospital, which was closed temporarily by the health authorities in Jeddah following the death of a patient due to a medical error.
An often heard complaint is the increase in treatment costs at many private hospitals. According to medical insurance experts and members of the insurance committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), medical insurance companies have specialist doctors who review hospital bills and follow up on patients’ files to verify how private hospitals adopt therapeutic procedures.
“Insurance companies give private hospitals limited powers with regard to treatment of patients. They cannot admit patients overnight or subject them to surgery without obtaining approval from the insurance company. This is done both to control the medical insurance bill as well as to protect the patient from becoming a victim of a hospital exploiting his or her medical insurance,” Ibrahim Ramel, an insurance consultant and former member of the JCCI’s insurance committee, said.
“If a private hospital misuses the powers granted to it by medical insurance companies, patients can complain to the health authorities,” Ramel said. He added that the higher costs of hospitals naturally reflected on the high cost of health insurance policies.
Insurance companies in the Kingdom are set to raise their health insurance policy by about 4 percent in 2013 due to the high costs of the health sector.
Beneficiaries of the insurance service consider this direction unjustified, as neither prices nor salaries have increased in the health sector.
In an interview with a local newspaper, Tal Nazer, CEO of Bupa Arabia for Cooperative Insurance, said: “The rising cost of hospitals, which has exceeded 20 percent, requires increasing the prices (of medical insurance policies). It is hard to keep the costs of insurance companies fixed.”


Kingdom's anti-corruption chief leads Saudi delegation at UN General Assembly

Dr. Khalid bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Muhaisen, president of Nazaha and head of the Saudi delegation, will stress the Kingdom’s anti-corruption efforts locally and internationally. (Shutterstock)
Updated 23 May 2018
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Kingdom's anti-corruption chief leads Saudi delegation at UN General Assembly

  • The meeting will be attended by UNGA President Miroslav Lajcak, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Yuri Fedotov, executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia, represented by a delegation from the National Anti-Corruption Commission (Nazaha), will take part on Wednesday in a high-level meeting of the UN General Assembly (UNGA) to mark 15 years since the adoption of the UN Convention against Corruption. 

The meeting will be attended by UNGA President Miroslav Lajcak, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and Yuri Fedotov, executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

The opening session will discuss the most notable developments and best practices in the application of the UN Convention against Corruption, which has been adopted by 184 countries, including Saudi Arabia. The meeting will conclude with a speech by Lajcak.

Dr. Khalid bin Abdul Mohsen Al-Muhaisen, president of Nazaha and head of the Saudi delegation, will stress the Kingdom’s anti-corruption efforts locally and internationally.