‘Duty of Care’ documentary: showcases MOH role in Haj


Saudi Gazette report

THE Saudi Ministry of Health in partnership with National Geographic Abu Dhabi (NGAD) has announced the launch of ‘The Duty of Care,’ a documentary providing a rare insight into the single largest congregation in the world and highlighting the ministry’s role in safeguarding the well-being and health of over 2.5 million devout pilgrims who undertake the annual Haj journey.

The documentary showcases the complex health infrastructure required to service such a large gathering, requiring 30,000 dedicated healthcare givers, 155 primary healthcare centers and 25 hospitals equipped and powered to support medical requirements and emergencies during Haj. They work hand in hand with over 5,000 paramedics located around the Grand Mosque, who use the latest GPS technology to locate every single person requiring medical attention and reach them in time.

The documentary will premiere on Friday with viewing at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. and 11p.m. on National Geographic Abu Dhabi.

With over 2.5 million pilgrims visiting the Kingdom annually, the Ministry of Health has a large responsibility to ensure the safety and well-being of the pilgrims. The Kingdom has put in place an integrated health infrastructure to this end, using specialists and the latest technology to provide advanced care and efficiently deploy resources in a timely manner.

The vision behind the enormity of this collective effort is to provide all visitors the necessary medical support so that they can focus on one thing and one thing only, their holy spiritual journey, their Haj. Mover, preventative health measures represent a major priority for the Ministry of Health as they continuously stay up to date with the global health developments and trends in collaboration with the World Health Organization and other international health bodies such as the International Center for Disease Control.

The Kingdom is a leading reference point in crowd medical management and support with extensive experience applauded by international medical organizations across the world. Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 presents a comprehensive strategy for the development of an integrated system aiming to increase the Kingdom’s current capabilities of receiving 8 million pilgrims a year to 15 million by 2020 and eventually to 30 million by 2030.

The care that the Ministry of Health provides goes beyond dealing with accidents on site as it gives the necessary support to visitors with serious diseases to perform their pilgrimage. From assigning a dedicated team of expertise to allocating a fully equipped ambulance for transport, pilgrims with serious illness get a chance to perform all rituals while their medical needs are being taken care off.

Abdulrahman Awad Al Harethi, acting executive director of Television at Abu Dhabi Media, said: “The Duty of Care documentary forms an important part of National Geographic Abu Dhabi’s commitment to shed light on the Saudi Ministry of Health and the success stories among the region.”

The story of ‘The Duty of Care’ is told through the eyes of three Ministry of Health healthcare professionals, and their experiences with the different phases of the medical care process.

Introducing roaming paramedics whose job is to reach people in areas that ambulances cannot, to the doctor whose sole mission is to provide the highest international standard of medicine free of charge anyone needing to treat anything from low blood sugar to cardiac arrest, to the operations manager who utilizes big data analytics, smart planning and GPS tracking to monitor the big picture and ensures that no matter the conditions, assistance is always available and the nearest ICU is never too far away.

The films reveal astonishing facts such as: 30,000 staff members, work day and night in 155 primary healthcare centers and 25 hospitals to ensure that the 25,000+ and 500 ICU beds are used in the most efficient way possible. About 100 ambulances and thousands of health professionals are tasked with helping people of determination get through all the rituals of Haj with ambulances and bringing them back to their hospital beds at the end of the day.