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Approval a must for dialysis unit

Minister Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah announced Monday that applications for setting up new dialysis units in private hospitals should go through a high committee appointed by the minister before they get formal approval for license from his ministry.

There are more than 3,000 dialysis machines in 177 dialysis units, including 30 in private health clinics and hospitals, throughout the Kingdom. The minister had made the announcement according to Chapter 4, Article 15 of the executive regulations laid out for the private health institutions.

The minister said that new dialysis units would be licensed only if they comply with the technical requirements of the new committee. The committee will comprise nephrologists from Prince Salman Center for Kidney Diseases, the Saudi Center for Organ Transplantation (SCOT) and officials from the Department of Medical Licenses at the provincial health directorates, among others.

Al-Rabeeah said the committee would ensure that the new units would fulfill the requirements of the Ministry of Health, which is keen on providing quality . It is anticipated that the new units will ease the congestion of renal failure patients in public hospitals.

Around 36.5 percent of renal failure cases in the Kingdom were caused by increase in blood sugar levels or .

According to Al-Rabeeah, the government has been spending more than SR1.5 billion annually on the treatment of kidney patients. The number of renal failure patients in the Kingdom would increase from 11,000 to 15,000 by 2015, he said. About 500 million people around the world suffer from kidney diseases. “These figures emphasize the need for enlightening the public on kidney diseases,” the minister said.

Al-Rabeeah said the national program for comprehensive health care, which was presented to Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah last September, would bring about a major shift in health-care services in the Kingdom, establishing the principle of equality and justice and improving the quality of service. He emphasized his ministry’s efforts to improve services at centers for the treatment of renal-failure patients.

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