MOH News
MOH's Reply to the News Story Published at Al-Sharq, Entitled: “MOH Closes a Saudi Patient's File in US”
01 April 2013
In response to the news story published at Al-Sharq Newspaper, under the title: “MOH Closes a Saudi Patient's File in US .. Jewish Groups Offer Paying for his Treatment”, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has sent the reply to follow:
Dear Chief Editor of Al-Sharq Newspaper,
Peace be upon you, and Allah's mercy and blessings
In reference to the news story that published at Issue n. 481, dated 29/3/2013, under the title: “MOH Closes a Saudi Patient's File in US .. Jewish Groups Offer Paying for his Treatment,” I would like, first of all, to thank for your efforts, but allow me to make this clarification:

The mentioned patient (whose initials are: S. M. H.) is 56 years old, and he is suffering from Erdheim–Chester disease which affects the spinal cord, arthritis and mononucleosis (white blood cells). This disease is treated with interferon and cortisone. Besides, he has pancreatitis, kidney ascites, abdominal hernia, and pulmonary infiltration.
Pursuant to the Royal Decree no 30533, dated 23/6/1433H (corresponding to 14/5/2012), the patient was sent to the United States for treatment, which has already started on 5/7/2012. And at the Royal directions to provide an evaluation of the case after three months, so as to ensure the patient can make any progress abroad, and summoning back patients who can complete their treatment at home, those who have their treatment completed, or those who don't receive proper treatment abroad, the case of the mentioned patient has been studied by the Supreme Medical Commission, formed at a royal decree, including in its members Saudi consultant of all medical specialties, and representing the Kingdom's various health sectors (Armed Forces, National Guard, Ministry of Interior, King Saud University, King Faisal Specialist Hospital and the Ministry of Health). Cases are thoroughly and impartially studied, so as to come up with the proper medical decision, either to send the case for treatment abroad or at home.
Upon the study of abovementioned patient after three months as of the outset of his treatment journey, the Supreme Medical Commission, in its decision no. 3546, dated 29/11/1433H (15/10/2012), has recommended the return of the patient and following up his case at home, given the availability of the prescribed medications at the Kingdom's hospitals, as well as submitting the reports prepared by the foreigner physician to his Saudi counterpart. The Commission took this decision on the ground that the medications received by the patient are limited to interferon and cortisone, which are abundant at the Kingdom's hospitals, and could by no means be considered effective treatment. Therefore, the patient's file was planned to be closed on 30/11/2012, but it happened, afterwards, that the patient was hospitalized at the emergency section because of breathing difficulties and high body temperature. In the light of this development, the Supreme Medical Commission, in its decision no. 105, dated 13/1/1434H (27/11/2013), recommended that only the cost of the ambulatory treatment will be at the expense of the State, and coordinating the return of the case to complete treatment at home. Hence, his medical file was left open until his discharge from the hospital.
Based on the foregoing, it becomes clear that the Ministry of Health didn't spare effort to treat the mentioned patient, in a way that is commensurate to the medical traditions, and the Royal Decree no. 4770/B, dated 8/5/1430H (3/5/2009) stipulating the return of cases that could be treated at the Kingdom's specialized centers, in implementation of the relevant resolutions and orders.
So, we hope that, by now, you are familiar with the whole thing, and that this clarification will be published and highlighted in your newspaper, as was the case with the first news.
With Best Regards,
MOH Relations, Media and Health Awareness General Department

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