More expats and citizens seeking medical treatment abroad

Updated 25 October 2014

More expats and citizens seeking medical treatment abroad

Many Saudis and expatriates here claim that increasingly poor local medical services have forced them to seek treatment abroad.
Sameer Khan, an Indian patient based in Jeddah, claimed his health deteriorated after being given the wrong prescription, forcing him to travel home for further medical assistance.
“I was suffering from hyperacidity. An overdose of antibiotics prescribed by the doctor caused an infection and later a stomach ulcer. I immediately traveled to my country after this,” he said.
He said that there seems to be doctors practicing in the country who do not have experience and make unnecessary mistakes.
Neda Taher, a Riyadh resident, said: “My mother had severe abdominal pain. Even after consulting a doctor here and taking medication, the pain was still there. Later we traveled to the US and consulted a doctor, only to learn that she was suffering from endometrial cancer (uterine cancer). However, she was diagnosed at an early stage.”
Ahmed Kaid, a Jeddah resident, said: “A doctor mistakenly prescribed my wife a high dose of tablets used to treat diabetes. We failed to notice the difference between her usual pills and the ones she had been given. She continued taking them for several weeks, which resulted in lowering her blood sugar level.”
“Such carelessness by doctors can result in the death of patients. It is important that they understand how patients feel and how a specific treatment affects them,” he said.
Saleh Al-Shehry, a physician at a government hospital, said: “Overprescribing often occurs when doctors are misled by patients about their symptoms. Doctors may have had academic training but the point is only patients know how they feel and it is necessary that they describe their symptoms accurately to avoid any medical errors."
"Moreover, we are in an era of 'patient knows best.' They have the right to ask doctors why each medicine is prescribed, possible reaction and other questions.”
He said many people seek treatment abroad based on advice from non-medical people, instead of consulting a health care provider. “We are currently working on increasing trust in our health care services with quality programs and patient feedback. There is also training provided for better doctor-patient communication.”


GEA offers family festival celebrating naturalist Al-Jahiz

Updated 52 min 39 sec ago

GEA offers family festival celebrating naturalist Al-Jahiz

  • Al-Jahiz Square is part of the Taif Season festivals and events
  • The festival offers an interactive exhibition about Kitab-Al-Hayawan (Book of The Animals) written by Al-Jahiz

JEDDAH: The Saudi General Entertainment Authority has organized a family festival as part of the Taif Season.

The festival titled “Al-Jahiz Square” adopts a historic theme at the iconic Souq Okaz, offering families a chance to embark on a unique literary journey into the biography of Al-Jahiz, the acclaimed 9th Century African-Arab naturalist.

The festival offers an interactive exhibition about Kitab-Al-Hayawan (Book of The Animals) written by Al-Jahiz.

The festival will be running until the Aug. 31.