The family of Majed Al-Dossary, the obese patient who died last week as he was leaving Riyadh airport for treatment, has filed a case with charges of neglect and medical errors against the Ministry of Health (MoH).
Al-Dossary had stayed for 25 months at the Medical Tower in Dammam. The Ministry of Health has received criticism for the way it handled Al-Dodsary’s case and that of his sister Rana, who is suffering from the same disease.
The family said that neither of the siblings had refused to be treated inside the country but that specialized hospitals in the Kingdom had refused at first to treat the two cases. They were admitted to the National Guard Hospital for diagnosis, not treatment, under pressure from the public.
“The statement made by the ministry stating that Al-Dossary’s serious health condition prevented transferring him aboard an airplane is, in itself, evidence of negligence,” said the family.
The Health Ministry was to call a specialized medical team as a last resort to treat both Majed and Rana.
The family said they met Minister of Health Dr. Abdullah Al-Rabeeah to find a solution for transporting Al-Dossary, possibly by using a Saudi medical evacuation aircraft.
The ministry, according to the family, insisted on handling the situation as it saw fit by calling in a medical team from abroad.
The family, however, said that the team consisted of only an obesity specialist and a specialist in cardiology. “They stayed only for six hours,” the family said.
Family members also said that an obesity specialist from New York told them that there was no need to reduce Al-Dossary’s weight, contrary to statements from the local medical team which recommended that his weight be reduced by 70 to 80 kg.
“We later found out that this condition was added to other stipulations for transferring him abroad,” says one family member.
“Majed was gradually withering away and dying at the hands of the Ministry of Health from the moment he was admitted to the hospital thanks to bureaucratic procedures,” charged the family, who now demand that a full and inclusive investigation be launched to unveil the facts.