MOH News
Al-Falih to Sponsor the 1st Gulf Patient Rights Conference in the Kingdom
19 November 2015
Under the auspices of His Excellency the Minister of Health, Eng. Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, the Executive Board of the GCC Health Ministers' Council; in collaboration with King Fahd Medical City (KFMC), Saudi Ministry of Health (MOH), Human Rights Commission (HRC) in Riyadh, Saudi Health Council (SHC), Islamic Organization for Medical Sciences (IOMS), Council of Cooperative Health Insurance (CCHI), and Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCFHS), plans to hold the 1st Gulf Patients Rights Conference over the period from February 28th to March, 1st 2016 (corresponding to Jumada Al-Oula 19th to 21st, 1437H) at King Faisal Conference Hall in Intercontinental Hotel, Riyadh.
 
This was announced by the Director-General of the Executive Board of the GCC Health Ministers' Council and Head of the Conference's Scientific Committee, Prof. Tawfik bin Ahmad Khoja, who indicated that this conference comes in activation of and in line with Resolution No. (6) of the 76th Conference  of the GCC Health Ministers, which stipulated to mark the 1st of February each year to celebrate Gulf Patients Rights Day, and to organize some activities on this occasion. He pointed out that this conference aims at highlighting the current situation of patient's rights and relevant practices at health facilities, promoting the patient and professional awareness of patient’s rights, achieving the slogan "Patient First" at health facilities with regard to the legislative and practical aspects, developing a unified Gulf framework for patient rights through the issuance of (Riyadh Document on Patient's Rights) and discussing the patient’s health, psychological and social needs.
 
He explained that the scientific themes of this conference can be summarized, as follows:
  • Focusing on the importance of patient rights in health care system.
  • Having medical care, practical applications and practices regarding patients' rights in addition to their families and visitors.
  • Legislations and laws related to patient rights' ‎ (confidentiality – privacy - enlightened companionship)‎.
  • The patient's role in the provided health care.
  • The participation of the patient in decision-making.
  • Integration between the rights of patients in general and workers in the health sector, as well as patients with special diseases, such as cancer, disabilities, mental illness, chronic diseases, and hopeless cases (Palliative Care).
Furthermore, Khoja indicated that the scientific program of the conference will touch upon the following topics:
  • The current situation of the patient’s rights practices.
  •  The role of health facilities and health team members in deepening the concept of patient’s rights.
  • The role of regulators in deepening the concept of patient’s rights.
  • Patients' rights.
  • Health workers’ rights.
  • Rights of patients with special diseases, such as cancer, disabilities, mental illness, chronic diseases, and hopeless cases (Palliative Care).
  • International, regional and Gulf experiments in the area of the patient’s health, psychological and social rights.
  • The role of civil society institutions in fostering the patient’s rights‎ concept.
  • Patient’s rights during emergencies, disasters and epidemics.
  • Patient’s rights with regard to the comprehensive health coverage (health insurance, treatment abroad, justice, equality and accessibility).
  • The role of the educational, professional and legal institutions.
 
Within the same vein, Khoja has called upon all authorities, experts and specialists to participate; either by submitting a scientific paper or even by their effective attendance. Those willing to scientifically participate, they can contact us via the following e-mail: sgh@sgh.org.sa, or fax number: 00966114885266.
 
On other hand, Khoja highlighted that human rights are inherent in our tolerant religion, with its supreme principles, which ensures mercy for all creatures and calls all Muslims to reinforce the rights of all human beings, regardless of their nationalities, gender, religion, race, color or language. “These rights are interrelated and indivisible and not to discriminate between human beings and the universality principle of human rights is the cornerstone of international human rights law (Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948), with all relevant international conventions, declarations and resolutions. Therefore, the rights of patients and beneficiaries of health services can’t be handled except in line with the adopted regulations and health professions ethics. The patient’s rights are rooted in the Islamic law, the matter which provokes our pride. These rights include those required from the patient's family, friends, physicians and the treatment team, which cannot be neglected or abandoned in any way,” said Khoja.
 
The noble religion considers observation of these rights from seeking closeness to Allah, Almighty, and his great reward; as mentioned in the Holy Qur’an: “If anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of all mankind”, and the Prophet, peace be upon him, said: “If you visit a patient, reinforce the long-life hope inside him/her. Though this won’t change anything regarding his/her fate, it will pleasure him/her”.
 
Moreover, Khoja underlined the importance of promoting the patient’s rights culture among individuals, agencies and all segments of society, as well as enabling patients to get their rights and involve them as responsible for their own health decision-making. He also highlighted the importance of activating the role of patients' rights-related associations, in such a manner that enhances the level of health services and reduces medical errors, and the concept of relationship between patient and physician and all members of the medical team.
 
“In fact, health care of patient occupies a prominent part in Islamic civilization; as Muslim physicians interested in humanity perspective when dealing with patient, by virtue of by the unique ethical approach of Islamic legislation towards the patient,” added Khoja.
 
In conclusion, Khoja extended his thanks and gratitude to H.E. Minister of Health, Eng. Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Faleh, for sponsoring this important scientific event, the matter which will be reflected positively on the importance of activating the role of patient’s rights and relations committees at health facilities, benefiting from the experiences of international hospitals, health organizations and attachés, the best practices in developed countries, that is to be added to the variability of patients' rights in different countries based on their cultures and customs. It didn’t escape Khoja’s notice to extend his thanks to KFMC and to all organizing committees and agencies for their great efforts in organizing this scientific event.
 
 
 



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