MOH News
Dr. Al-Hemeidi: MOH Boasts its 9 Poison Control Centers .. More to Be Established
24 April 2013
The Deputy Minister of Health for Curative Services, Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Hemeidi, affirmed that the Poison Control and Forensic Chemistry Centers pertinent to the Ministry of Health (MOH) are considered among the important specialized centers. Currently, there are nine centers in Riyadh, Makkah, Madinah, Dammam, Jeddah, Al-Qassim, Aseer, Tabuk, Jizan. They are geographically distributed to the effect that they cover the entire Kingdom in terms of service provision. He went on to point out that there is a future plan to establish control centers in all the health regions and governorates in the Kingdom.
 
This was during the Third Annual Meeting for the Directors of the MOH Poison Control and Forensic Chemistry Centers, which was organized by the Poison Control and Forensic Chemistry Centers General Department in Riyadh from April 12th to April 13th, 2013.
 
Dr. Al-Hemeidi added that as a result of the increase of the workload and tasks which these centers perform, it was necessary to create a department under which the poison control and forensic medicine chemistry come. It is to technically supervise these centers and the units related to it; in terms of curative poison units, drug and poison information centers drug testing units for those applying for vacancies related to the Ministry of Health (MOH) in the health regions and governorates; and setting the plans and programs related to developing work in them and following up their implementation. In addition to this, it is to apply the quality measures and security and safety procedures in these centers. Therefore, the Poison Control Centers and Forensic Chemistry General Department was initiated as part of the MOH's general structure; it is directly linked to his Excellency the Assistant Under-Secretary for Supportive Medical Services.
 
For his part, the Director-General of the Poison Control and Forensic Chemistry Centers, the pioneering pharmacist Abdulaziz Al-Khyal made clear that the aim of initiating a general department tasked with the poison control and forensic medicine chemistry centers is to draw up the general policy for this vital, important sector in the Kingdom, set a strategy to carry it out, and regulate work; and develop it in all its sectors according to the latest scientific, developed means and methods.
 
He went on to add that to realize that the Department is to take charge of carrying out several tasks and responsibilities; of which is presenting technical consultations for the relevant governmental centers and bodies in the governmental and private sectors which deal with the general department represented by the poison control and forensic medicine chemistry centers. It is also to oversee equipping poison control centers with devices, lab equipment, and their supplies and work on coordinating the services of the centers in all the health programs in cooperation with all the various sector activities within and outside the MOH.
 
In meantime, the Assistant of the Director-General, and the Director of the Technical Affairs at the Poison Control and Forensic Chemistry General Department, Dr. Fwaz ibn Al Mosa stated that it is working on unifying the work procedures in all centers and continuously updating them, and conducting the technical assessment for specialists and advisors when contracting for work in the centers. It is to supervise training those working in the centers periodically, conduct courses within and outside the Kingdom, determine the needs of the poison control centers in terms of labor force in line with the workload, and make up a scientific committee including a constellation of specialized advisors to be a scientific reference at the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCFHS). 
 
Within the same context, he added that the Department follows up applying quality in centers, having all centers participate in external quality programs, and seeking to obtain the international accreditation from the world bodies such as College of American Pathologists (CAP), in phases according to the readiness of each center. It is also to gather and analyze information and work statistics in these centers to pinpoint the points of strength and weakness; and the obstacles which intercept developing work in the poison control centers and evaluating the performance level in them, set the future plans to develop the poison control centers, and consider the scholarship applicants forwarded from the MOH Training and Scholarship Department to do master and PhD on all that are related to the poison field.  
 
Furthermore, the Department encourages the scientific studies and researches, supports the programs and activities related to the cases of the drug, food, environment, among others poisoning, in addition to contributing along with the other governmental sectors to the preventive awareness about the poison and drug harms.
 



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