Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: The Ministry of Health on Sunday dismissed news of stopping referrals to private hospitals or imposing an upper limit on payment by the government for those referred for assessment or treatment at these facilities.
“The ministry has noticed the circulation of false news about either stopping referrals of government hospitals to private sector hospitals or imposing a limit on the amount of cost which can be assumed by the ministry for treating cases referred by the ministry to such hospitals. None of these reports are correct,” the ministry said.
The ministry stressed that its very essential duty is to provide all types of health care services to all citizens. “We will continue to provide these services to people. And if we can’t at times, we will not hesitate at all to secure the needed service from any other source, whether from local private health care facilities or from abroad,” the ministry said.
“The ministry is continuing to refer patients to local private sector hospitals or abroad whenever needed, if the needed health care service is not available at its own facilities,” it added.
Also, the ministry stressed that it did not put an upper limit to the cost of treating referrals at private hospitals, but it did reevaluate the service provision on cost payments on a daily basis to come close to the real cost of services based on announced rates by these hospitals.
The ministry emphasized that that the referral system of patients between government and private hospitals is still running smoothly, maintaining its flexibility and facilities to guarantee the quick provision of the needed health care services, thus achieving the purpose of creating the system.
The Ministry of Health purchases services in emergencies like in disasters, life-threating accidents, lack of beds in government hospitals for serious cases, and long waiting lists for critical cases.
For example, the ministry found a program to purchase dialysis services from private hospitals in 2013With around SR.1.9 billion to shorten a long waiting list of patients in dire need of dialysis services.
© Arab News