RIYADH — Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeah, Minister of Health, has approved measures taken by the Health Affairs Directorate in the Eastern Province against a private hospital in Al-Khafji town near the Kuwaiti border. The hospital was ordered shut by the directorate for violating various regulations.
“The closure came after a series of violations committed by the hospital,” the ministry said in a statement Wednesday.
“The closure is final and irrevocable. The hospital was also fined SR100,000 in accordance with the provisions of the private healthcare facilities law,” the statement added.
The charges include failure to appoint a Saudi director, adequate number of nurses, lab technicians, specialists and consultant physicians.
The authorities found the hospital’s operation theater, laboratory, dental clinic and pharmacy poorly equipped. The hospital was also found employing unlicensed healthcare personnel, which badly affected the quality of services offered to the public.
The ministry warned private healthcare providers in the country that it would not hesitate to impose appropriate punitive actions, including the closure of the facility, against hospitals and clinics that fail to comply with the healthcare regulations and quality criteria set by the authorities.
A responsible source at the ministry told Saudi Gazette that this case of closure and withdrawal of license is the tenth of its kind in the past six months.
He stressed that the ministry, with introduction of its new “patients first” policy, was determined not to allow poorly-equipped and understaffed healthcare facilities to jeopardize the health of citizens and residents.
In order to put an end increasing complaints of malpractices in the healthcare sector, the ministry has urged all government and private hospitals in the Kingdom to report any serious medical errors through its electronic portal.
Once a medical error is reported through the system, the Minister of Health and two of his deputies, who are on call round the clock, are immediately notified by SMS and appropriate action will be taken.