ER patients complain about long waiting times at Riyadh KFSH

King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh.

King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center in Riyadh.

Emergency patients at King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center (KFSH) in Riyadh are complaining about long waits before they are examined by doctors, with many claiming they had to wait in the hospital’s emergency corridors due to a lack of available beds.

Such delays increase crowding and negatively affect their conditions due to hurried and inaccurate diagnoses.

Citizen Mohammad Abu Dousah said every time he takes his sister to the emergency unit at the hospital, he has to wait for a day or two before a doctor examines her.

“She once suffered a complete collapse of her kidney, but no doctor paid her any attention and I had to take her to a doctor in the outpatient clinics who recommended urgent and immediate surgery,” he said.

Citizen Ali Al-Qahtani said his father was suffering from an incurable liver disease and he took him to the emergency unit of the hospital, but had to wait more than half a day until someone attended to his father. He added that he had to plead with doctors before his father was admitted to the emergency unit.

The head of media affairs at KFSH, Imad Al-Mehaizei, said there has been an increasing number of patients seeking emergency treatment at the unit, which receives patients suffering from tumor problems, heart diseases, organ transplant issues, brain and nerve surgery patients and patients who are referred from other hospitals.

He claimed that this has increased pressure on the hospital and resulted in an increase in the occupancy rate of beds, which ranges from 92 to 98 percent, while the world average does not exceed 85 percent.

“In response to this pressure, the hospital will see the opening of King Abdullah Center for Tumors and Liver Diseases by the end of 2014, which has a capacity of 300 beds. In addition, an emergency unit is under construction with a capacity of 100 beds, which will contribute to providing specialized medical service to patients,” he said.

Al-Mehaizei added that the emergency unit in the hospital is applying Canadian standards for the screening and sorting of patients to determine priorities of treatment, and patients diagnosed with level 1 and 2 conditions receive immediate attention, while those with level 3, 4 and 5 conditions have to wait for beds to become available, and the average waiting time is between 5 and 6 hours.

“The emergency unit at the hospital is working at maximum capacity, focusing on the most critical cases first as per international medical standards,” he said.

 
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