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Gulf Saudi

Private healthcare facilities not allowed to detain patients over unpaid bills

Medical facilities are required to follow legal means of recouping their debts

Private healthcare facilities in Saudi Arabia are advised against retaining original identification papers of patients over unpaid hospital bills.
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Dubai: Saudi Arabia has reaffirmed that private healthcare facilities cannot detain patients, newborns or dead bodies of patients over unpaid medical bills. Healthcare facilities are also advised against retaining their original identification papers.

According to the Ministry of Health, medical institutions are required to recoup their debts through legitimate channels. As per Article 30 of the Private Health Institutions Law and its executive regulations, private health institutions must immediately report crimes or deaths of any patients to the nearest security authority and the Directorate of Health Affairs in the region.

Private health institutions are also urged to report crimes in which the injured sought the service of an ambulance or treatment, and they must keep a complete record of traffic accidents and injuries.

Article 16 of the Private Health Institutions Law states that private health institutions must provide emergency treatment for all severe emergency cases without making any financial claims before treatment.