The principle (Do no harm) is one of the key fundamental principles in our religion that is associated with many sectors, including the healthcare, as it is one of the foundations of patient safety. Therefore, it was not surprising to see the commitment of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to support patient safety since the early beginnings, and during the past seven decades.
It was evident and clear starting with the establishment of the Ministry of Health in 1950, through the establishment of several important bodies (such as: the Saudi Central Board for Accreditation of Healthcare Institutions and other important organizations), and culminating with the launch of the Saudi Patient Safety Center (SPSC) in 2017. The Center is one of the most important initiatives under the National Transformation Program and a complement to the health sector governance system in the Kingdom.
During the past three years, Saudi Arabia's contributions in the field of patient safety have escalated, at the local level, SPSC has led the patient safety strategy, starting with the launch of the National Patient Safety Platform (SAWTAK), which will be the largest national patient safety platform globally in the next five years. The Center also made a remarkable shift in the culture of patient safety, as it reinforced the patient safety culture survey nationally (one of the indicators of the National Transformation Program) where more than 77 thousand health practitioners from all sectors in Saudi Arabia participated in, and it contributed to improving the positive culture of patient safety in Saudi hospitals from 30% to 60%. This is in addition to training more than 10 thousand health practitioners in various fields of patient safety: infection control, medication safety, and risk management. SPSC has also made a consequential shift in the field of patient empowerment in Saudi Arabia by training more than 6 thousand citizens (patients, students and teachers (males and females) in schools and universities, patient societies and support groups) in the field of patient empowerment, as well as bulletins and periodicals and continuous awareness on social media.
At the regional level, SPSC has been active in supporting patient safety through its strategic cooperation with the Gulf Health Council.
On the international arena, Saudi Arabia's imprint marked through the Saudi Patient Safety Center was clear and strong, as it was one of the few countries that participated in all the Global Ministerial summits for patient safety beginning with the London Summit in UK in 2016, through Bonn Summit in Germany in 2017, and followed by the Tokyo Summit in Japan 2018, and the Jeddah Summit in Saudi Arabia in 2019. The Jeddah Summit was organized by Saudi Arabia under the patronage of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques. It is noted and testified by many as the best global ministerial summit for patient safety as 45 countries participated in addition to the contribution of the Director of the World Health Organization, and the UK's Foreign Minister. The most significant outputs of the Summit was the "Jeddah Declaration on Patient Safety", which is considered one of the most valuable documents supporting patient safety at the international level. Saudi Arabia is now a member of the Steering Committee of the Global Ministerial Summit for Patient Safety, in which I have the honor to represent Saudi Arabia with members representing countries: United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, and the World Health Organization.
Saudi Arabia's contributions internationally was not limited to the global ministerial summits of patient safety, but we were also one of the few countries that contributed to the preparation of the Global Action on Patient Safety, launched at the World Health Assembly in 2019, which put patient safety as one of the most crucial priorities in the health sector on a global level. It was the reason for the creation of the World Patient Safety Day. And recently, the Saudi Patient Safety Center contributed to a significant leap in the global patient safety agenda by including patient safety on the agenda of the G20 countries, in which has linked investment in patient safety to a positive return, not only on health systems, but also on the global economy as a whole. The vision of the Saudi Patient Safety Center is "safer healthcare for all" and we are looking for a bright future for patient safety in which the center plays a leading role at the local and international levels, especially with the recent selection of the Center, as a collaborating center with the World Health Organization in the field of patient safety (one of the only four collaborating centers with the World Health Organization), which will support SPSC's leading role in this area.
In conclusion, I want to assure everyone that their safety is not only our priority, but also at the heart of everything we work on at the Saudi Patient Safety Center.