(MENAFN - Arab News) Public and private hospitals would be punished according to the law if they refuse to accept accident victims - Saudis and expatriates.
The warning came from Prince Faisal bin Abdullah, president of the Saudi Red Crescent Authority, on Monday.
"All hospitals including private hospitals should accept emergency cases," Prince Faisal said and urged the Health Ministry to make sure all hospitals treat emergency cases, irrespective of their nationality and places of work.
Prince Faisal called for deterrent punishment against hospitals that refuse to accept emergency cases. "We should activate the role of emergency wards at hospitals to treat such cases effectively," he said.
He said the Red Crescent would inform the ministry about violating hospitals to take punitive action.
He also told hospitals that they should not impose high charges on such patients and should not reject them for not havig medical insurance. "Such behavior goes against the humanitarian principle of the medical profession," he said.
If a case required long and specialized treatment and the patient needs to be hospitalized, the private hospital that accepted the case should coordinate with public hospitals to transfer them to the latter.
The private hospital should provide a complete file of the patient to the public hospital, explaining the treatment it has given so far.
In case of nonavailability of beds at public hospitals, the private hospital should continue treatment of the patient at state expense until they are transferred to a public hospital.
Saudis and expatriates have applauded the decision taken by Prince Faisal and hoped it would improve treatment of the injured, especially victims of road accidents.
Saudi Arabia has the highest number of traffic accidents in the world with 20 fatalities on average daily.