Saudi Human Rights group spotlights healthcare shortcomings
A report by the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) has revealed several human rights violations
A report by the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) has revealed several human rights violations and shortcomings in the health sector in the Kingdom, Makkah daily reported.
The NSHR said health services in the Kingdom need drastic improvements. The health sector lacks sufficient qualified Saudi employees, yet there are a number of unemployed health institute graduates who are seeking jobs.
The NSHR has received many complaints from fresh graduates in health and medicine fields who are unable to find work in the health sector. The NSHR said in its report that there is no plan or system to utilize the graduates of health institutes.
The NSHR urged the Ministry of Health, the Saudi Commission for Medical Specialties and the Ministry of Civil Service to conduct a study determining the qualification standards required in order to promote transparency and justice in health sector employment.
Moreover, the NSHR medical insurance reports revealed that private hospitals breach the rights of patients. Some private hospitals refuse to release newborn babies to their parents until all expenses related to the child’s delivery are paid.
The NSHR clarified that hospitals do have the right to claim their expenses but do not have the right to detain a human being. The society said the authorities should interfere and stop this inhumane practice. Another breach of human rights is denying a pregnant woman in labor admittance.
Refusing a pregnant woman medical treatment and care can prove to be fatal for the mother and child, the report read.
The NSHR also urged the Ministry of Health to provide health services in all areas of the Kingdom and inspect and monitor medical insurance companies.
Current health institutes are not all qualified to offer the health services they do, it said.
The society also criticized the shortage of services medical insurance companies offer, especially toward the elderly. It requested the directorate responsible for medical insurance companies, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency, to take the responsibility of conducting medical insurance contracts and not leave that to companies.
This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette on December 15, 2014.