Hands off AIDS-Hit! New Law to Ensure Dignity of Patients
A specialized committee at the Shoura Council is considering a law that will protect AIDS patients and give them educational, health and social rights. Anyone who fails to abide by the law will be punished.
Local media reports said that the proposed law mandates that anyone who abuses those patients will be held accountable, penalized up to SR50,000 and several years in jail.
According to statistics issued by the National Information Center, the number of AIDS patients in the Kingdom in 2013 was 500 citizens and 1,277 expats.
Legal adviser Mohammad Al-Dabaan said the system studied by the Shoura Council gives those patients their therapeutic rights.
He said relevant authorities are assigned the care of these patients and the law, currently under study, will specify a set of articles that will be operational on the ground.
Al-Dabaan said health care was an important article in the law. It includes taking care of minute details, such as defining test times and explaining how to deal with residents who have the virus, whether by treating them or isolating them until their travel arrangements to home countries are completed.
He confirmed that the system guaranteed compensation to those who contract the virus by accident. Compensation will be paid by the health facility responsible for the infection.
A Health Ministry source told the local media that the number of AIDS patients in the Kingdom increases every year, especially among women who are infected by their husbands.
The source added that AIDS patients face many obstacles, such as few job opportunities and insufficient support by charitable societies.