The Telemedicine Law Covers Entire Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia
The Saudi 2030 Vision promotes cutting-edge technology in health services for benefit of all the citizen in Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA). The Ministry of Health expanded telemedicine with launch of e-health App viz. Seha App. This App provides ease of medical consultation with doctors by connecting the patients for virtual face to face consultations across the KSA. The Regulations mentions that telemedicine shall be used for consultation, diagnostics, screening, triage, obtaining a medical opinion from a healthcare practitioner (HCP) and the monitoring any medical conditions.
The Regulations also defines the term telemedicine “medical practice using information and communication technology (ICT) from a remote place involving a live or virtual interaction between the healthcare personnel and the patient. The location of two parties in such consultation shall be different and involve artificial intelligence or robotics to come under ambit of telemedicine. Teleconsultations between patient and healthcare personnel or between the two healthcare personnel must involve video call and not exclusively audio to qualify as telemedicine.
In KSA the medical professional can practice telemedicine but must be one who holds license from the Ministry of Health and it does not matter if the medical professional is in public or private sector. Moreover, any telemedicine practice delivered outside KSA from a health practitioner based in KSA shall be under the supervision of KSA based Government Medical Professional. Telemedicine undertaken by an HCP outside the jurisdiction will be undertaken under the supervision of a KSA based HCP. Therefore, it is implied that all requirements and the license that a healthcare professional should follow while conducting medical practice in person equally apply to the practice of telemedicine as well.
The Regulations shall establish Saudi Telemedicine Unit of Excellence that would operate within National Health Information Centre of Saudi Health Council. The proposed Telemedicine Unit monitor and supervise orderly and proper rendering of telemedicine services. Also, every legal requirements and code that is applicable on healthcare facilities in KSA are equivalently applicable to entities providing telemedicine services especially the accreditation of Saudi Central Board for Accreditation of Healthcare Institution (SCBAHI).
Ministry of Health’s Vision 2030 that pins on developing quality and accessible healthcare services with quality and equality across KSA is bolstered by this initiative.