Abu Dhabi: Saudi Arabia has issued a blueprint for women’s right to health including sexual and reproductive health care services..
The Saudi Ministry of Health stipulated that women must review the report of the pre-marital examination and its results, and conduct routine clinical, laboratory and radiological examinations to ensure their ability to withstand pregnancy stress and provide the necessary health advice, procedures and recommendations to be followed in the event of associated diseases.
Pregnancy and childbearing
The blueprint stipulates women are entitled to assistance in childbearing in case of delayed pregnancy, physical and moral help, and obtaining clinical examinations that are complementary to the prevention of cancer and fragility diseases, especially with the presence of risk factors.
Women have the right to choose the details of their natural delivery such as the delivery plan, the instinctive delivery and be informed of the full range of options available, and revised information about the benefits and risks of each method.
The medical team must have specialisation and skills in childbirth, in addition to the availability of a qualified staff specialised in the complications that may arise, and to provide a safe environment that ensures delivery in a decent and respectful manner at all times, preserves the dignity of women and guarantees their right to choose a midwife or doctor who provides maternity care, based on the facility’s available capabilities.
Women have also right to giving birth in a private room or a designated space that she conceals from other patients, or anyone who is not part of the medical team supervising it, the blueprint says.
It stipulated that a woman is entitled to maternity care appropriate to her cultural and religious background, and to obtain information in a language she understands.
Women are also entitled to family member’s company and access to continuous social, emotional and physical support, during labor and childbirth from caregivers, who have been trained in labor and childbirth.
Women also have a right to childbirth without medical interventions, and the provision of all methods of relieving the pain of natural labor.
A woman has the right to consent to the entry or exit of her relatives, minors or incompetent patients, to and from the health facility.
Women, aged 18, can sign admission and discharge declarations, and medical permission for any medical procedure or intervention.
The blueprint states those who are physically incapable of signing admission, discharge and medical permission have the right to authorise whomever they wish to sign.
Only women, aged 18 years and above, have the right to accept or refuse to sign a medical permission for surgeries, according to the blue print.