By Courtney Trenwith
Just 12 of 72 government and privately-owned hospitals operating in the province have official approval - report
Less than 20 percent of hospitals and medical facilities in Saudi Arabia’s Eastern Province are accredited to practice medicine, according to Saudi Central Board for Accreditation of Healthcare Institutions (SCBAHI) data revealed by local media.
Only 12 of the 72 government and privately-owned hospitals operating in the province had official approval, according to SCBAHI.
The revelation comes as the kingdom battles accusations it is not properly handling the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).
The World Health Organization (WHO) last month blamed poor infection control measures for a spike in MERS cases in April and May last year, including an outbreak that forced the shutdown of the emergency department at a hospital in Jeddah – which is within the Eastern Province.
A hospital in Riyadh also was temporarily shut down in February for ignoring MERS guidelines.
Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Mirghalani reportedly said the hospital had ignored several warnings to strictly follow the ministry’s guidelines.
“We cannot compromise with the health of the people,” he was quoted as saying.
There have been at least 1,026 recorded infections and 376 deaths since the virus was detected in Saudi Arabia in 2012, according to UN figures.
There is a big difference between accreditation and licensure.
No healthcare facility over the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is allowed to operate without being licensed by MOH.
CBAHI is the national accreditation body (same like sister international accreditation bodies JCI, AC, ACHSI, etc..). Accreditation is a process of assessing the licensed healthcare organizations against standards of quality practices and patient safety.
So All the operating hospitals in the EP are licensed and the list of CBAHI's accredited healthcare organisations over the kingdom is published on CBAHI website.