190 health facilities fined
The Ministry of Health has fined 190 health facilities for violating rules and regulations over the past six months, a senior official from the ministry announced here Saturday.
Five hospitals, 54 polyclinics, 34 special clinics, 51 support services firms, 21 medical warehouses and 25 pharmacies incurred penalties.
Abdullah Al-Ghufeili, deputy director of public relations and media at Riyadh’s Health Affairs, said the fines were imposed on these institutions based on reports submitted by a ministry field inspection team in the Riyadh region.
He said the team conducts regular inspections of private facilities in the region to ensure the quality of services offered in ambulances, operation theaters and medical warehouses are up to standards and to assess the professional suitability of medics and paramedics employed by these institutions.
He said the ministry acts on complaints received from citizens and residents through its official website and through phone calls.
Other violations include operating without licenses or functioning with expired licenses and failing to train medical staff and maintain proper facilities and equipment.
“The action taken against the management of these facilities reflects the ministry’s concern for the safety and welfare of patients,” he said. “Negligence and recklessness on the part of health providers will not be tolerated by the government and stern action will be taken against such violators based on the seriousness of the violations.”
“We treat the private sector as strategic partners in providing health services to the public and want them to offer quality services with a ‘patients first’ vision in their ventures,” the official said.
The department of private sector facilities at the Health Ministry oversees 130 hospitals, 2,000 polyclinics and 7,000 pharmacies across the Kingdom.
“There are some 98,000 health officials working at these private sector facilities,” said an official from the department.
The ministry closed 30 medical complexes, 15 polyclinics, 29 pharmacies, 27 optical houses and five physiotherapy centers for violations last year.
During this period, the ministry also collected SR3.75 million in fines from such violators, almost SR2 million of which was from pharmacies.
The Ministry of Health has also opened a helpline for members of the public to make complaints about medical errors and health violations in the Kingdom.
Online complaints can be made on www.moh.gov.sa or via fax on 0112124196.