The recent decision by the Saudi Arabian government to implement mandatory cooperative insurance against medical errors for health practitioners in several specialties is an important step towards improving healthcare services in the country.
The decision was made in November 2022 during a Cabinet meeting chaired by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman.
The government has listed several specialties that should be included in this insurance, including nursing, pharmacy, anaesthesia, midwifery, laboratories, diagnostic radiology, ambulance (emergency medical services), physiotherapy, speech and communication, respiratory treatment, nutrition (intravenous therapeutic nutrition), cardiology, audiology, bone setting, withdrawing blood, optics, and operation room technician.
This insurance will help to ensure accountability and responsibility among health practitioners, and provide a safety net for patients in the event of medical errors.
It will also help to improve the quality of healthcare services by encouraging health practitioners to take greater care in their work, and by providing a mechanism for compensating patients who have suffered harm due to medical errors.
In addition to the implementation of this insurance, the government has also recently transferred the jurisdiction of medical disputes panels to the general judiciary under the Ministry of Justice.
This move is expected to further improve the quality of healthcare services by providing a more robust and transparent system for handling medical disputes.
The signing of a memorandum of understanding between the Ministries of Justice and Health has paved the way for the implementation of this new system.