The Ministry of Health will coordinate with the national carrier Saudi Arabian Airlines for medical evacuation of patients in and outside the Kingdom.
Deputy Health Minister Hamad bin Muhammad Al-Duweila signed the agreement with Director General of Saudi Arabian Airlines Saleh Bin Nasser Al-Jasser at the Health Ministry headquarters on Wednesday.
The signing ceremony was attended by Deputy Minister for Public Health Dr. Abdulaziz bin Saeed, Deputy Health Minister for Human Resources Abdulhadi Al-Mansouri, Deputy Minister for Supples Hussein Fakhiri and on behalf of the airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines Vice President for Sales Rashed Al-Ajmi, its vice president for network and revenues Khaled Al-Bassam and its head of the strategic unity for the flights and property Faisal Kayal were present.
Describing the partnership as strategic, Al-Duweila said this would help the patients to be transferred to the referral hospitals with adequate safety and security. He stressed that this is a qualitative development undertaken by the ministry to provide the best of health care to the patients in the Kingdom. He also said, in future all airline reservations of the ministry employees will be done through the national carrier.
He also explained that there is a sizable number of patients transferred to various stations within the Kingdom and there are several others who are ferried to various hospitals around the world for medical treatment not available in the Kingdom. In future, he said, the national carrier will ferry them to the required destinations with safety and security.
Under the the MOH referral program ‘Ehalati,’ the ministry not only provides medical counseling among physicians in the various medical facilities to study the health situation of the patient without the need for transferring him but also send the patients to specialized hospitals through the service without any paper work. The program aims at unifying the adopted measures on patient referral among health facilities at all levels throughout the Kingdom’s regions, as well as referring the patient automatically between the levels of the medical service in a record time based only on the patient’s health situation and the objective medical opinion.
The Kingdom spends more than SR 1 billion to treat Saudi patients abroad annually.
The patients evacuated from the Kingdom receives treatment in countries such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, Singapore and China.
The United States remains the top destinations for treatments followed by Germany and the United Kingdom.
The decision to treat patients abroad is based on a royal decree or on a recommendation made by the the High Medical Commission which deals with these acute cases.
The members of the commission include representatives from health sectors of different government departments such as Medical Services at the Ministry of Defense, Department of Health Affairs at the Ministry of National Guard, Medical Services Department at the Ministry of Interior, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center, university hospitals, and the Ministry of Health.
There is no ceiling for overseas medical allocations and all deserving patients will be given the needed opportunities for medical treatment abroad. There are 18 medical committees spread throughout the Kingdom which deal with such cases. The Kingdom has also appointed three attaches in countries such as United States, Germany and the United Kingdom.
Source; Arab News