2006 News Story

Health Minister orders Patients' Bill of Rights to be posted at all health centers

Minister of Health Hamad Al-Manea ordered the posting of patients’ rights at clinics and in-patients wards in all medical facilities in the Kingdom, Saudi Gazette reported Wednesday.

The new list, which defines the rights of patients, was written up four months ago by a specialized committee comprising doctors and lawmakers, drawing on similar rules applied in different parts of the world, the paper reported.

Ministry of Health spokesman Khaled Marghlani told Saudi Gazette the law guarantees patients the right to seek other medical opinions, as well as good treatment and information about their cases in simple, understandable language.

Patients must be also be told about all possible complications they may develop and treatment plan.  The law also stipulates that patients should not undergo any surgical operations without their full consent, with the exception of the emergency cases which necessitate instant intervention, such as traffic accidents.