MOH News
Dr. Al Rabeeah Stresses the Importance of Health Charities in Providing High-Quality Health Services
05 February 2012
   Under the auspices of His Excellency the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah Bin AbdulAziz Al Rabeeah, an open meeting was held last night under the theme: (The Role of Civil Society Organizations in Health Services Integration). The meeting was organized by the Charitable Health Society for Patients Care - Enayah in cooperation with the National Health Committee at the Council of Saudi Chambers, and was held at the Council's headquarters in Riyadh. During the meeting, the Minister of Health revealed a study on enhancing the level of the Health Services Council in Majlis Al-Shura to be a Supreme Council of Health, which will systematically reinforce integration among health service providers in the Kingdom.
He stressed the importance of the role played by health charities in providing high-quality health services. However, he pointed out that some charities have been established depending on the desire of doctors. Since they did not manage to assume chairmanship of scientific associations, thy resorted to the establishment of charities for mere scientific purposes. “The Ministry of Health (MOH),” Dr. Al-Rabeeah affirmed, “is keen to avoid turning charities into scientific associations, considering the fact that academics didn’t have the chance to run scientific associations at universities, nor at the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCHS), which is an acute problem we are confronted with. In this respect, MOH has suspended the license of some associations for the above mentioned reasons. The Board of Directors and the organization of these associations have been filed to scientific associations but they didn’t get the needed license so they turned into charities. Such actions are legally not acceptable.”
Moreover, Dr. Al Rabeeah highlighted the efforts of the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Affairs exerted to organize and legislate health charities. They need to identify the challenges, issue new legislations and discuss and develop current legislations to control their health charities function. In addition, he warned charities against clinical practice, stating that it costs a lot and is difficult to sustain. On the other hand, charities have many functions that cannot be done by the public sector.
Furthermore, Dr. Al Rabeeah expressed his concern about turning philanthropy into a business. "Some initiatives were taken under the guise of charity, while in reality they are business. While the standards of quality, safety and health facilities have been set by the Ministry to achieve the highest level of health care,” HE said.
While attending the meeting, Adviser to the Royal Court, Member of the Senior Scholars Board, Member of the Standing Committee for Scientific Research and Issuing Fatwas, and Member of the Charitable Health Society for Patients Care - Enayah, Sheikh Dr. Abdullah bin Mohammed Al-Mutlaq, said, “Medical services offered free by doctors can be considered part of their annual Zakah. For example, if a doctor’s annual Zakah is 500.000 SR and he works in the private sector, he can offer medical services instead of it”.
Moreover, a welcome speech was given, at the beginning of the meeting, by the Secretary General for the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Fahad Al Sultan,  highlighting the distinguished cooperation between the Ministry of Health and Enayah. Then, he spoke about his trip to Poland in 2007, where the Polish media was interested in following up the work of a talented Saudi doctor, the Minister of Health, Dr. Abdullah Bin AbdulAziz Al Rabeeah who has succeeded in separating conjoined twins, one of most complex operations in the world. The media has expressed its thanks and gratitude to His Royal Highness the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, our role model in humanitarian deeds. Dr. Al Sultan also mentioned that he has sent a letter to HRH, expressing the feelings of the Polish people toward the King, the Kingdom and the doctor.
In addition, the Secretary of Enayah, Dr. Mohammed Al Rakban, reviewed some of the association projects, saying: "the association has contributed, through the charitable treatment project, in treating about 1300 patients in both the public and private sectors, and in treating about 5.500 patients through mobile clinics in Jazan.” He also revealed a new charitable project with a total cost of 50.000.000 SR. Right now the project undergoes its final stages.
For his part, Chairman of the National Health Committee at the Council of Saudi Chambers, Dr. Sami Al Abdulkarim, clarified that health charities face a number of obstacles that hinder the ability of organizations to play their main role. The various obstacles include individualism, and legal ambiguity. At the conclusion of the meeting, the patron of the event, HE Dr. Al Rabeeah, has honored the supporters of Enayah. 

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