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Arab health officials discuss steps to protect patients' rights
June 11, 2014, 8:41 am

Arab health ministries' representatives were meeting in Kuwait to discuss laws and regulations related to protecting the rights of patients and growing incidents of violence towards children and doctors across hospitals.

In an opening speech at the legislations committee meeting of the Arab Health Ministers' Council on Tuesday, Kuwaiti Health Ministry Undersecretary Khaled Al-Sahlawi said that the important initiative to hold the talks comes in order to protect the rights of patients and to discuss more steps for control on medical practice.

"We as medical officials vow to provide patients their full rights which they will receive through laws they have been ensured with by hospitals across the Arab world," he said.
It is crucial to pinpoint the reasons behind acts of violence against doctors. These incidents are prevalent across Arab states and the world, he added.

The meeting is also discussing the search for legal steps that protect children and providing mothers with adequate awareness, through social workers, on how to appropriately handle with their children.

Legal steps that ensure the rights to healthcare of able-bodied and special needs people will also be discussed, he said. The meeting is also an opportunity to exchange expertise on a provisional law for the protection of patients' rights, he said, and this falls under efforts aimed at reaching the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) for after 2015, which highlight human rights and healthcare as the core base for development.

For her part, Arab League health department chairman Laila Najem noted to a number of provisional measures already achieved on the Arab scale, adding that the talks would aim to take on from where these left off.

As an example of this, plans for a traditional law aimed at regulating the practice of traditional, alternative and complementary medicine were made and adopted by the Arab Ministers' Council in 2012, she explained.

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