35 patients selected for overseas treatment

Updated 15 February 2014

35 patients selected for overseas treatment

Thirty-five Saudi patients are to receive overseas medical treatment in eight countries on the orders of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah, a senior official from the Ministry of Health said Saturday.
Mishal Abdullah Al-Mishal, general director of the Medical Authorities and Medical Attaches, said the High Medical Commission gave the green light for the patients to be treated abroad and it has also approved another group of 46 patients for treatment inside the Kingdom since the needed facilities and services are available in the country.
Twelve patients have been referred to hospitals in the United States, 10 in Germany, five in France, three in the United Kingdom, two in Jordan and one patient each in Spain, Belgium and China.
The Kingdom spent more than SR1 billion to treat 4,723 Saudi patients abroad in 1434H. The United States remains the top destination for medical treatment followed by Germany and the United Kingdom, he pointed out.
Al-Mishal said a patient is treated abroad either on the order of the king or a recommendation made by the High Medical Commission, which deals with complicated medical cases.
Members of the commission are representatives of various health departments such as the medical services department at the Ministry of Defense, the department of health affairs at the Ministry of National Guard, the medical services department at the Ministry of Interior, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, university hospitals and the Ministry of Health.

He said there is no ceiling on overseas medical allocations and all deserving patients are given the needed opportunity for medical treatment abroad.
He explained that there are 18 medical committees spread throughout the Kingdom to deal with such cases. The Kingdom has also appointed three attachés in the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Earlier last year, the Council of Ministers allocated SR600 per day for Saudis receiving medical treatment and those accompanying them outside the Kingdom. The council also allocated SR300 per day for those being treated inside the Kingdom.
Patients, including children, referred for treatment outside the Kingdom, are given financial assistance amounting to SR300 per day, for whoever is treated outside of hospital.
The official said patients considered for treatment abroad are people whose diseases cannot be treated in the Kingdom. He said the respective doctors should certify that treatment for such patients is not available in the Kingdom.
The Saudi missions abroad have been instructed to identify the right hospitals for overseas treatment and the patients are informed accordingly, Al-Mishal said.
King Abdullah has directed the Ministry of Health to provide the best possible health care services to citizens both in and out of the Kingdom. To help meet the king’s expectations, the High Medical Commission has been assigned to assist and coordinate with such patients.
He explained that the process of referring cases for treatment abroad involves studying each case objectively, scientifically, practically and fairly to reach the right decision, bearing in mind the patient’s interests.
The commission also communicates with physicians in the Kingdom to discuss cases subjectively. X-rays, CDs and laboratory results are studied in order to determine a treatment plan, after which a statement is issued as to whether or not patients will be granted treatment abroad at government expense.
He pointed out that the MoH facilitates visas and arranges transport for patients and their companions by commercial or medical evacuation aircraft.

Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

Updated 26 May 2019

Pilgrims with special needs treated to a memorable Umrah trip under Saudi ministry’s Ramadan initiative

  • Umrah trip held as part of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah's “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative 

JEDDAH: Several Muslims with special needs have benefited from a special Umrah pilgrimage organized by the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah on the occasion of the holy month of Ramadan.

According to statement from the ministry, the Umrah trip, was held on the 17th of Ramadan  (May 22) under the “Sadiq Almutamir (Friend of the Pilgrim)” initiative in partnership with Sawt Alasm association in Jeddah.

A busload of 20 people with special needs were accompanied by 12 volunteers of Sadiq Almutamir, including sign language interpreters for the deaf pilgrims. 

The first stop was at Kuday area in Makkah, where pilgrims received the special gifts of Sadiq Almutamir, supported by the Establishment of Motawifs of South East Asian Pilgrims. Next was their arrival at the Grand Mosque, wherein the pilgrims performed Umrah, enjoyed Iftar meals, and received souvenirs from Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association. 

Volunteers assisted the pilgrims by communicating with them, providing instructions and directions in addition to sharing their feelings with the support of the sign language interpreters. 

Sadiq Almutamir also accompanied pilgrims during the performance of Umrah, providing wheelchairs for the elderly, sharing breakfast, and learning about their impressions of performing Umrah for their first time. 

Sadiq Almutamir is one of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah’s initiatives in Makkah’s Cultural Forum. It focuses on promoting the culture of giving and cooperation between the Saudi youth as well as elevating the volunteering services provided to Umrah pilgrims in order to enrich their experiences. It also provides optional tours to visit attractions, monuments, and places contribute to enriching experiences of Mutamirs and immortalizing beautiful memories in the Kingdom.

Launched late last year, the initiative aims to develop the spirit of volunteerism among Muslims and to invest in the youth by engaging young men and women in service and social responsibility.

“It focuses as well on improving the efficiency level of services provided to pilgrims, promoting the culture of volunteering, helping elderly and special needs’ people to perform Umrah rituals, and finally contributing to the realization of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 of reaching 1 million volunteers annually,” ministry statement said.

The trip was held in cooperation with the Western Fleet Transport, in coordination with the undersecretary of the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah for pilgrims’ transportation affairs and Haji & Mu'tamer's Gift Association.