MECCA, May 30 — For two consecutive years, Malaysia became the first country to obtain approval from the Saudi Arabian government to run health facilities for haj pilgrims.
Malaysian Haj delegation head Datuk Seri Syed Saleh Syed Abdul Rahman said the Tabung Haji (TH) health centre in Madinah passed the strict screening and inspection of the Saudi Health Ministry on May 25.
“This is a recognition of our health services. It also shows that our preparations and facilities have reached a high level, allowing us to obtain the approval to operate,” he told a press conference here.
Elaborating, he said this year’s screening was stricter than last year, with the country having to meet the criteria in terms of facilities, equipment, operating space, number of specialists and clinical waste management.
Syed Saleh said getting the approval was made easier by Malaysia’s healthcare sector’s good practices and standard operating procedures, in addition to the good relationship between the two countries, especially the Malaysian haj delegation with Saudi Haj and Umrah Ministry.
“In terms of the ratio of facilities provided such as beds and doctors to the number of pilgrims, I think we cannot deny that we are the best and highest compared to others,” he said.
Meanwhile, Syed Saleh said that a total of 9,078 haj pilgrims had arrived in the Holy Land via 30 flights with 6,112 pilgrims in Madinah and 2,966 others in Makkah.
He said so far, six pilgrims have been admitted to the TH health centre ward in Madinah while two pilgrims are in the hospital in Makkah due to health problems.
One of them was injured in the leg due to a fall while the others had a lung infection, adding that all of them aged 60 and above and are in stable condition.
He said the pilgrims’ family members had been informed about the matter.