Hospitals should not detain patients or dead bodies for non-payment of bills Hospitals should not detain patients or bodies for non-payment of bills

Jeddah: The Saudi Ministry of Health has asked hospitals not to detain patients or dead bodies for non-payment of treatment bills. The ministry clarified that hospitals have no right to withhold identity documents. Hospitals should call 937 if they violate this.

The release of corpses or the release of sick or new-born children is the right of the individual, his guardian or relatives of the deceased. The hospital bill should not be a hindrance to that. The Ministry explained that this is stated in Article 30 of the Code for Private Health Institutions.

Forcing people to sign financial bonds in lieu of medical bill arrears is also an offence. Inspections will continue to monitor such violations. The ministry also said that if violations are found, such institutions will be handed over to the committee. But the ministry also indicated that the health institutions are allowed to take legal steps to collect the bill dues.

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