Global Summit on Patient Safety Adopts Jeddah Declaration

Top Quote The 4th Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety 2019 was attended by the head of the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as Ministers of Health from around the world. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) March 06, 2019 - JEDDAH, Saudi Arabia – The Saudi port City of Jeddah hosted a two-day Global Summit on Patient Safety, which ended on Sunday.

    The 4th Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety 2019, attended by the head of the World Health Organization (WHO), as well as Ministers of Health from around the world, concluded with the announcement of the Jeddah Declaration on Patient Safety.

    Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, said: "We know how to make health (care) safer, we have learnt from other high-risk industries such as aviation, construction, railways and the nuclear industry. As healthcare becomes more complex, we know that we need a more integrated system and we need to address 5 critical gaps, first the knowledge gap…, second the policy gap…, third the design gap…, fourth the delivery gap… and finally the communication gap. We need to bring together best practices and innovations, and we must share our experiences of what works and what doesn’t.’’

    At the close of the Summit, delegates approved the Jeddah Declaration on Patient Safety, listing 11 recommendations for ensuring patient safety around the world.

    Dr. Tawfig AlRabiah, Saudi Arabian Minister of Health who announced the Jeddah Declaration, said: “The effects of medical errors are not only limited to those whose lives were lost, but also to their loved ones and their families.”

    Dr. AlRabiah said, “One person dies every 13 seconds somewhere in the world due to medical errors, which means 2.6 million deaths each year that can be avoided”.

    Dr. AlRabiah added; the Kingdom had taken the lead in hosting this summit, as it looked to assume a global leadership role in promoting and supporting patient safety, especially in the Middle East. The Kingdom provided assistance through King Salman Relief and Humanitarian Center (KSRelief) for up to US$675 million from 2015 until now, to support the humanitarian work on projects related to health, water, sanitation and nutrition across the region.

    Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health actively promotes patient safety, and has established the National Center for Patient Safety that sets goals and indicators and provides necessary training to achieve the highest levels of safety. It has also established several support centres, including the Saudi Health Facility Accreditation Center (CBAHI) and the General Authority and the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties, to realize the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 goals and to promote health care to enhance the role of patient safety at the local and international levels.

    The Saudi Minister of Health affirmed that the Jeddah Declaration would complement efforts to promote patient safety at the international level and is a practical tool to improve safety in health care.

    ‘On the first day of the summit, the ‘Med Consult’ application was launched in collaboration with the King Salman Center for Relief and Humanitarian Action and the World Health Organization (WHO). It is an application that enables visual communication to provide medical consultations among health practitioners in Middle and Low Income Countries (MLIC) with consultants from around the world. It aims at reducing diagnostic errors and increasing the effectiveness and exchange of experiences among health practitioners around the world.

    Dr. Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General, expressed his appreciation for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for its proactive role in improving health care. He also thanked Dr. Al Rabiah for hosting this summit in the Kingdom.

    “The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has done great work and great development with a view to ensuring patient safety, including the establishment of the Saudi Center for Patient Safety. The Kingdom has adopted the WHO programme to include the Patient Safety Program in Education, Medicines and Hospital Initiative for Patient Safety,” Said WHO Director General.

    Dr. Ghebreyesus added; about 2.6 million people die each year because of malpractices. He announced that WHO would discuss the idea of commemorating September 17 as International Day of Patient Safety at its annual meeting in May.

    UK’s Minister of State at the Department of Health and Social Care representative, Mr. William Vineall, told the summit: ‘’this summit in Jeddah is particularly important as it provides a springboard to focus on patient safety in low-middle-income countries (LMIC) and takes place just before the proposed adoption of the resolution on global patient safety at the World Health Assembly in May this year. ‘’ We are obviously very pleased with the WHO Executive Board that had recommended the UK’s current resolution on tackling patient safety to be adopted at the World Health Assembly in May, and with our many global close sponsors including Saudi Arabia, Germany and Japan, we will be counting on the support of every member state to back this resolution for urgent global action to help prevent harm and save lives and reduce the burden on health systems.’’

    German Federal Ministry of Health, Parliamentary Secretary of State, Ms. Sabine Weiss: told the conference: ‘’I am pleased to be here with you because patient safety is a matter of utmost importance both nationally and internationally. Safe health care should not stop at borders; our goal is for a culture of patient safety to be firmly established across all areas of healthcare. We want to see patient services as an important topic in all regions of the globe. Every year this summit stands as proof that we can and that we are well on our way. It is great to see how the summit integrates science, practice and policy-making across all fields across all countries.’’

    Japan’s Vice-Minister for Health, Labour and Welfare, Dr. Yasuhiro Suzuki, said: ‘’we used to be one of the top brands in terms of health care. We established Universal Health Coverage in 1961 and we ranked among the top 10 in terms of health in 1977, but we have experienced a lot of medical-malpractice issues around the turn of the century. There was a retired couple who were looking forward to travelling but unfortunately the wife (Etiko) died because she was injected with disinfectant instead of heparin. The irony is that she herself was a trained nurse.”

    About MOH:
    Saudi Ministry of Health is responsible for the public health and control of the diseases and epidemics, and the development of a skilled healthcare workforce, focused on building a strong infrastructure for a comprehensive health sector in the Kingdom.

    For more information about MOH, visit our website at

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