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Health care meet opens focusing on ‘patient safety'
By Mohammed Al-Kinani
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 27 - 10 - 2009

In one of the largest scientific gatherings in the Middle East, the Arab and Gulf Healthcare Quality and Safety Conference opens here today with senior physicians and researchers discussing some of the most important issues in the Arab and Gulf medical community.
The two-day conference will be held under the patronage of Prince Khaled Al-Faisal, Emir of Makkah Region under the theme “Deep in the Challenges of Patient Safety”, and will be attended by high-level, Gulf-and-Arab health delegations, as well as delegations from the Arab League, some American and British universities and the International Health Organization.
The Director General of the Executive Board of the GCC Health Ministers Council, Dr. Tawfik Khoja, said that the meeting will be of great importance to everyone interested in improving the quality and safety of health care, including policy-makers, hospital leaders, regulators, accreditation bodies, quality improvement organizations, managers, practitioners, providers and patients.
He said that among reasons why the conference is to be held is that it is necessary to become a part of the world patient safety movement by connecting with world experts and the world alliance for patient safety.
“Moreover, it will help to sharpen the skills in patient safety solutions, risk management and evidence-based practice, through participation in pre-conference workshops,” he added.
He also added that another aim is to enhance communications and networking among delegates and leaders with world class experts in patient safety.
“We also aim to stay updated with the latest regulatory and accreditation requirements as related to patient safety,” he explained. He added “we all need health care to be available in the nearest health center in every location in our countries.”
Dr. Amal Sultan, head of the Media Committee of the Conference, said that the overall vision for this conference is in the application of international health care quality standards to enhance patients' safety, in order to economically, socially and humanly reduce the burden of patients.
“The quality and safety of health care are a Gulf, regional and international demand. So, health ministers in the GCC states are keen to improve and develop health systems by following the latest scientific methods in this field,” Sultan said.
She said that some 30 scientists and researchers will present papers through lectures and workshops that mainly target patient safety solutions and risk management, as well as medication safety and the Arab system of hospital accreditation. “On the sidelines of the conference, there will be a medical exhibition sponsored by the Executive Committee of the Conference,” she added. It is noteworthy that the conference is a continuation of the efforts of the executive office of the GCC Health Ministers Council for the quality and safety of health care.

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