(MENAFN - Arab News) Jeddah's Civil Defense director, Brigadier Turki Al-Harithi, yesterday said penalties against hospitals violating civil defense safety regulations differ according to aggravating or mitigating circumstances. Never, however, will a fine exceed SR30,000.
Director of Jeddah Health Affairs, Sami Badawoud, said all hospitals are obliged to present a Civil Defense letter when renewing their licenses. The letter should show the hospital has no civil defense violations. In case there are observations against the hospital, they are followed up throughout the year to guarantee compliance. Badawoud said the ministry, in collaboration with the Civil Defense and Mayor's Office, carries out three random inspections of hospitals a year.
The Civil Defense deals with hospitals in case of safety violations. Medical practitioners' violations [and errors] are subject to a separate regulation. The ministry is implementing the Saudi Council for Medical Establishment's work procedures for hospitals, he added.
Civil Defense Director Al-Harithi said hospital violations fall under the responsibility of the department's Permanent Committee on Field Assessment of Hospitals and Medical Centers, which comprises representatives of several bodies. Violations recorded against hospitals would involve several parties.
As for hospitals' breaches of civil defense regulations, the department's violation committee is concerned. Such violations include "partly or completely blocked emergency exits, lack of safety equipment and unregulated storage." No such violation is overlooked as hospital visitors include elderly people and children in addition to patients. When a violation [civil defense safety violation] is detected in a hospital, a report is made and filed to a 6-member violation committee where a penalty is determined and issued.