MOH News
Eng. Faqih Inspects Field Medicine and Emergency Services in Hajj
02 October 2014
His Excellency the Acting Minister of Health, Adel bin Mohamed Faqih, has reviewed the field medicine and emergency services provided for pilgrims in this year's Hajj season, which include 100 small ambulances for field medicine. “The ambulances will act as mobile intensive care rooms,” said the minister.
He added that the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, May Allah protect him, is keen to provide the best health services for pilgrims in line with the latest quality standards.
Furthermore, the minister thanked the Saudi citizens, who came from different provinces to serve pilgrims, each in his specialty. He underlined that the ministry has provided also new and modern ambulances as part of its plans to offer high-level services to pilgrims in this year's Hajj season.
For his part, the Director-General of Medical Emergency; and the Head of Emergency and Field Medicine Committee, Dr. Tarek Al-Arnos, has valued Eng. Faqih's inspection of the field medicine teams, saying that it reflected the Emergency and Field Medicine Committee's readiness to carry out an integrated plan for tackling the ambulatory and emergency medical cases, crowd accidents, torrential rains and fire risks in the different places where Hajj performers exist.
He further noted that the MOH has launched 50 small, new ambulances highly-equipped with the latest medical devices, bringing the total number of the small ambulances to 100 new ones.
“They will act as mobile intensive care units to deal with the ambulatory, emergency and field cases,” said Al-Arnos, adding that 57 large ambulances were distributed to evacuate patients from the Hajj areas. Of all, 32 ambulances were distributed to the Holy Sites' hospitals, 10 ambulances to the entry ports' health centers, in addition to 25 supportive ambulances to carry emergency cases to the hospitals and health centers in Makkah and the Holy Sites and 25 ambulances to Madinah hospitals.
Dr. Al-Arnos went on to add that 18 field medical teams were prepared in order to work at the health emergency points at the stations of the Holy Sites' train. The points, where these teams are positioned, were received by the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs. They are equipped with the latest medical devices in order to tackle any emergency case occurring to those boarding the train. All the more, he added that coordination was made with the Saudi Red Crescent Authority to the effect that any emergency case, whose health condition requires completing treatment in hospital, is to be transported.
Also, Dr. Al-Arnos underlined that the ministry has allocated 8 ambulances for the emergency medical points stationed at the central area of the Holy Mosque in Makkah.
Within the same vein, Dr. Al-Arnos made clear that the Emergency and Field Medicine Committee, this year, is made up of 497 physicians, nurses, and ambulance technicians set to work at the ambulances and health emergency points located at the stations of the Holy Sites' train. “They all started work in Mai'asm complex since Dhul-Qadah 20th,” said Dr. Al-Arnos, noting that they received intensive training courses on treating emergency cases and got trained on ways of personal hygiene, infection control and sterilization of ambulances after the transfer of each case.
Dr. Al-Arnos went on adding that the ministry provided the ambulance medical teams with wireless communication means and location-pinpointing devices (GPS); with the aim of facilitating communication and directing ambulances to the locations where the cases exist. This is carried out through a highly-equipped control room, which tracks the ambulances in the field and provides them with enough information to help them get to the cases swiftly and shortly. “To that effect, a report including the road condition and the nearest health facility that can receive the cases in need of therapeutic intervention is made,” he noted.
Similarly, Dr. Al-Arnos emphasized that the field medical teams are to be positioned on Dhul-Hijjah 10th-13th at both sides of the Jamarat Bridge and the main roads leading to it; that is to be added to the central area in the Holy Mosque in Makkah. He further made clear that the medical teams are fully ready for tackling heat stress and sunstroke cases in the field.
In conclusion, Dr. Al-Arnos affirmed that coordination was made with the Saudi Red Crescent Authority and the Interior Ministry to make use of the air ambulance services provided by the authority and civil defense forces for four years. “Meanwhile, airstrips were prepared at Al-Noor Hospital, Arafat General Hospital, Mina Emergency Hospital, and East Arafat hospital, as well as the King Abdullah Medical City in the Holy Capital,” he said, highlighting that the airstrip of the Saudi Red Crescent Authority in Arafat was turned into account; in order to transport the critical cases through the medical evacuation to the Holy Capital's hospitals or the other hospitals in the Kingdom.

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