MOH News
Al-Falih to Sponsor the 1st Gulf Patient Rights Conference Next February
10 December 2015
Under the auspices of His Excellency the Minister of Health, Eng. Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, the Ministry of Health (MOH) is gearing up for the 1st Gulf Patient 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 the Intercontinental Hotel, Riyadh. 
A number of international, regional and national organizations will participate in the conference, including the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office (EMRO) affiliated to the World Health Organization (WHO), Islamic Organization for Medical Sciences (IOMS), Imperial College London, Saudi Human Rights Commission (SHRC), Saudi Health Council (SHC), Council of Cooperative Health Insurance (CCHI), Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCFHS), and King Saud University (KSU).  
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. He added that the conference, for the first time, will assign two main pillars in an integrated manner, namely the WHO and IMOS, the matter which demonstrates the scientific prestige of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), the support provided by the Executive Board of the GCC Health Ministers' Council towards partnership, the consolidation of the institutional business frameworks with all prestigious scientific bodies to draw scientific and healthy visions, achieving the sought-after rights of the patient and enhancing the concept of comprehensive health quality.   
Dr. Khoja called upon all members of society and concerned specialists to attend this important scientific forum; in realization of the concept of empowerment and knowledge, in line with the tendency of the government of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and its approach in dialogue and fruitful and positive discussion, the matter which will lead to the improvement of health systems and the achievement of their objectives. 
The Head of the Scientific Committee went on to say that the conference comprises ten scientific sessions, with participation of 4-5 speakers from experts and specialists in the field of patient's rights at each session (with a total number of about 50 speakers). These sessions will touch upon many topics, including the current situation of the patient's rights practices, the role of health facilities and members of health teams in addition to organizational bodies in deepening the concept of patient's rights and the role of the educational, professional and legal institutions, as well as legislations, laws and conventions. The sessions also will handle the rights of patients, health workers and special categories of patients (e.g. patients with cancer, disability, mental and chronic diseases, in addition to hopeless cases who are in need for palliative care).   
Furthermore, Khoja pointed out that the conference will include a special session on patient's rights from Islamic perspective, with participation of the Saudi Scientific Society for Medical and Jurisprudence Studies, as well as another session on integrated care of the patient’s medical, mental, social and legal rights, as well as the patient's rights of comprehensive health coverage. He added that there will be a session under the title: "The role of Civil Society Institutions in Fostering the Patient’s Rights‎", in addition to the last session under the title: "Patient’s Rights during Emergencies, Disasters and Epidemics, and Security and Safety".
It is noteworthy that the Chairman of the Saudi Scientific Society for Medical and of Jurisprudence Studies and Vice President of Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University for Planning, Development and Quality will deliver a major lecture titled: “Powerful Elements of Patient’s Rights Program Success in Health Facilities”. Also, this conference will include a special session for women at the evening of the first day of the conference.
On other hand, Khoja highlighted that human rights are inherent in all human beings, irrespective of their nationalities, gender, religion, race, color or language. “Such rights are interrelated and indivisible and cannot be discriminated, and the principle of universality of human rights is the cornerstone of the International Human Rights Law (Universal Declaration of Human Rights 1948) and all relevant international conventions, declarations and resolutions. The human rights are inalienable and should not be withdrawn except in specific cases and in accordance with established procedures. 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. He added that the conference will conclude with an issuance of Riyadh Document on Patient's Rights, approved by the participating parties in this unique scientific event. 
In conclusion, Khoja extended his thanks and appreciation to H.E. Minister of Health, Eng. Khalid bin Abdulaziz Al-Falih, for sponsoring this important scientific event. Besides, Khoja pointed out that the keenness of  the Minister of Health to sponsor this conference 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 the prevailed cultures and special customs.

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