MOH News
The MOH Spends more than SR 800 Million for Treating Patients Abroad
26 November 2013
The total cost of treating patients referred by the Ministry of Health (MOH) for treatment abroad in 2012 reached SR 813,662,113 million. They received their treatment in the hospitals of the United States of America (the U.S.A.), the United Kingdom, and Germany, as well as Singapore and China.
The Director-General of the MOH Medical Authorities and Health Attachés, Dr. Mesh'al Abdullah Al-Mesh'al stated that, stressing on the MOH's commitment to delivering the health services and securing the medical care for those in need of it, according to the medical norms, rules, and regulations applied in terms of treating the illness cases, whether within or outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
He further emphasized that the Ministry of Health (MOH) works according to a scientific mechanism and methodology achieving justice and equality among the citizens of this nation. And that the judging par is the health condition and the pure medical view. Similarly, he pointed out that the MOH appreciates the patient's situation and exerts its utmost efforts to fulfill their desire in terms of treatment.
As regards what is being published in mass media and social networks about requests of the illness cases for treatment abroad, he unveiled the details of the mechanism approved for tackling the illness cases seeking to receive treatment within or outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Meanwhile, he made clear that referring the patients for treatment abroad takes place in line with the royal orders, or the decision of the Supreme Medical Authority made up of Saudi consultants from the different governmental health sectors. They are the medical services of the Ministry of Defense, the health affairs of the Ministry of National Guards, King Faisal Specialized Hospital, Research Center, university hospitals, and the Ministry of Health (MOH).
He went on to add that the consultants of the Supreme Medical Authority study the health condition of the patient, and if the treatment of the case is available within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia or not, and the extent of the patient's condition and the benefit they will get from being sent for treatment abroad. He also asserted that the decision is purely medical and based upon the health condition of the patient, and chances of treatment and recovery, Allah willing.
And he added that "in the event that a decision was issued sending the patient outside the Kingdom, the MOH, through the health attachés abroad, coordinates with the medical centers and hospitals abroad and notifies the date of sending the patient. This requires that the hospital to which the patient is referred makes appointment for them with the physician to treat the case. This entails some time due to the difficulty of making immediate appointments with the physician to be in charge of the case. For those physicians are engaged with previously-scheduled appointments as they are distinctive physicians whose schedules are without slots; or the case may suffer from a diseasethat is rare , and its treatment is only available in a small number of the world hospitals.
And if the health condition of the patient is critical, needs special care, and requires having the patient transported to the medical evacuation, he made clear that the situation then is harder due to medical organizational reasons worldly recognized, and in turn getting acceptance and providing beds for these cases become harder.
Within the same vein, he pointed out that the patients to whom a decision of treating abroad is issued need an entry visa for the states in which they are to be treated. Most of the embassies of these states stipulate that consent and an appointment of the hospitals to treat the patients be obtained; in order to issue the visa for them. He went on to add that the general medical authority of the region grant the patient or their family letters for the concerned embassies with the appointment of the hospital included; to finish the visa procedures as soon as possible. All the more, the Ministry of Health (MOH) is to bear the traveling expenses.And as regards the incidental costs, the patient or those accompanying them are to shoulder. 
As far as what is being published on mass media and social networks about the requests oftreating abroad are concerned, he said that these cases are studied by the specialized consultants of the health sectors above-mentioned in relation to the availability of treating them within the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, or not benefitting from the treatment abroad for the lack of a successful remedy for them, meaning that the decision is medically-based and is issued by specialists.
Also, he emphasized that the decision of receiving treatment abroad or not is carried out in line with the decision of the Supreme Medical Authority. And this decision is based upon the pure medical view of those specialized in the concerned case as the patient's reports coming from the physician outside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia are studied and their recommendations are carefully considered.

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