Health ministry's call center offers impressive services


Saudi Gazette report

JEDDAH – The Health Ministry’s contact service center (937) replies to calls of people in less than 10 seconds with support of 130 employees including medical consultants and answers to queries of patients and their relatives. This service is available around the clock.

“The center has appointed 130 employees including administrators and medical specialists. They work in three shifts and each shift will have at least 30 employees to attend the calls of customers,” said Nasser Abutaleb, director of the center while speaking to Al-Hayat Arabic daily.

The center monitors more than 6,000 transcripts weekly, including calls and clarifications on various services provided by the ministry. It also books seats for patients who wanted to join anti-smoking clinics and prepares reports on health services in different regions.

“Such reports give an idea about health services in various regions of the Kingdom in order to develop them further through the five-year plans,” the official said. Consultants provide information about infectious diseases prevalent in the country to take precautions, he added.

“The center’s services have been available for the last three years,” he said. Health Minister Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah opened the center’s new facility on March 21. The center provides quick reply to those who contact it and gives top priority to customer satisfaction, Abutaleb said.

The center extends various services to clients and clarifies queries related to the ministry’s services and gives information about progress of applications received by the ministry, actions taken on complaints against public health centers and hospitals, the official said.

“Some patients will be contacting us to get transfer to a specialized hospital due to his/her dangerous condition,” the director said. “We have a team of pharmacists to answer queries on complications and side effects on taking various medicines and a team of specialists to deal with poisoning issues. We’ll advise customers how they can overcome such dangerous conditions,” Abutaleb said.

He said the center informs the concerned department requests and complaints made by callers. “We’ll not close the file of an issue except after contacting the customer and taking his/her opinion about the service and whether they are satisfied or not with the service,” he explained.

“The center wants to become the ear of citizens to hear all their health problems and complaints to find quick solutions. We also give importance to their observations and recommendations in order to further improve services and make them more effective,” the director said.

Fahd Al-Harbi, an employee at the center, said the majority of people who call the center are aged above 18 and most calls are to inquire about the ministry’s various services and to know progress of letters received from regional governorates and other government departments.