MOH, private sector to form joint committee



RIYADH: MD Rasooldeen

Published — Wednesday 5 December 2012

Last update 5 December 2012 5:47 am

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The Ministry of Health is to set up a joint committee with the private sector, to regularize health care services in the private sector hospitals and health care institutions throughout the Kingdom. 
An official from the ministry said plans were discussed, at a meeting chaired by Health Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah held at the ministry’s headquarters in Riyadh on Monday. 
Officials from the Ministry of Health, Council of Saudi Chambers and local investors attended the meeting. 
During the meeting, Al-Rabeeah emphasized the ministry’s focus on “patients first”, a health care service offered by the ministry to the people. He pointed out, that with the private sector’s participation and active involvement, the ministry would be able to offer better health services for the benefit of the people. 
This committee will operate under the umbrella of the department assigned to look after the private sector health care services in the Ministry of Health. 
Highlighting the importance of the private sector’s role in the health care services in the Kingdom, the minister also urged the private sector to keep abreast of the latest advances that are being made in the health care field, to provide better services for patients. 
The meeting also discussed a number of interesting topics that relate to the private health sector, such as, policies and procedures for work, especially in hospitals and clinics, and raising the quality of health care services. 
Under the new reformative changes adopted by the Ministry of Health, the patient is an integral and active part of the healing process and not just a passive recipient of treatment, at both government and private hospitals. 
Under the ministry’s new guidelines, every patient has the right to a pleasant physical environment, privacy, confidentiality, the right to ask for a second opinion, to be treated with respect and dignity, and to choose his/her treating physician. Furthermore, the patient must be fully informed of his/her condition, treatment options, and the side effects of any recommended treatment. 
The new trend in health care requires doctors to communicate better with patients and to tend to the patient’s mind and emotions, not only their physical body. 
Recently, the ministry called for a relationship of mutual trust, respect and understanding between the patient and physician. 
The ministry also recommended that every hospital establish a patient relations office, which would receive the patient’s feedback, suggestions, complaints and facilitate the interaction of the patients with the hospital authorities, without any problems. 

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