As pilgrims return to Saudi Arabia, their health and well-being remain a top priority
JEDDAH: After two years of strict limits on pilgrim numbers, precautionary measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 have been relaxed in Saudi Arabia and the Ministry of Hajj and Umrah has increased Hajj capacity. This year, the Kingdom will welcome a million pilgrims from all around the world.
Their health and well-being remains a top priority and the Ministry of Health has been working to prepare 25 hospitals, 156 other health facilities, 180 ambulances, and 5,000 additional beds for patients in Makkah and Madinah and at other holy sites.
This month, Health Minister Fahad Al-Jalajel met the directors of Hajj healthcare clusters as he carried out an inspection tour of the preparations being made at health facilities in the Arafat, Mina and Muzdalifah regions.
Accompanied by Dr. Hatem Al-Omari, the CEO of Makkah Health Cluster, Al-Jalajel visited a number of facilities in Arafat, include Arafat General Hospital, Arafat Health Center, East Arafat Hospital, Jabal Al-Rahma Hospital and Namira General Hospital.
He also toured 17 sites in Mina, including Mina Al-Jaser Hospital, Mina Al-Wadi Hospital, Mina Emergency Hospital and Mina New Street Hospital, in addition to healthcare departments at King Abdullah Medical City in Makkah.
Al-Omari said during the inspections on June 20 that the facilities are equipped with the latest medical equipment and their protocols ensure that emergency cases can be rapidly and efficiently transported to central facilities such as Al-Haram Hospital and Ajyad Hospital.
There are high levels of integration and coordination between all healthcare facilities and hospitals in Makkah to handle all types of cases that might arise, he added.
The Makkah Healthcare Cluster, under the direct supervision of the Ministry of Health, is dedicated to harnessing all the resources and capabilities provided by the government to offer the highest quality of health services and ensure the safety of pilgrims, Al-Omari said.
To help reach full operational capacity and contribute to a successful Hajj season, Makkah Health Cluster organized an intensive 12-day training program, titled Skills for Dealing with Guests of the Most Merciful in the Front Lines, for 300 male and female health workers at hospitals and other medical facilities.
It aims to familiarize them with the mechanisms for helping pilgrims, addressing their concerns and serving them through practical and flexible means of communication, including sign language. It is also designed to develop the capabilities and skills of those working in the field during Hajj so they can effectively provide high-quality, inclusive services.