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أخبار سعودية

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Makkah: Orphans born in the Kingdom to unknown parents or known mothers, will now qualify for compulsory health insurance through their foster families, the Council of Health Insurance has said.

The orphans’ insurance coverage is effective as of the date of issuance of their ID certificate by the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development, and its delivery to the foster parent who benefits from compulsory health insurance.

The insurance coverage is terminated when male dependents turn 25 or with the marriage of female dependents, and at the end of custody.

It is also terminated in case the ministry cancels the foster family’s custody of the foster orphan, with the death of the orphan, or expiry of the foster parent’s coverage.

Hussein bin Saeed Bahri, chairman of the board of directors of Al-Wedad Charity Foundation, which organizes orphan care, told Arab News: “The cabinet’s approval to qualify foster orphans living with families benefiting from compulsory health insurance for that same insurance, just like any other member of the family, is a humanitarian gesture and extension of the noble and sublime stance to which this precious segment has become accustomed, thanks to our leaders, where orphans received attention and care since the era of the Kingdom’s founder, King Abdulaziz.”

The foundation is the first Saudi organization to specialize in caring for orphans aged under two. Operating under the supervision of the ministry, it connects qualified families to orphans, according to approved standards and conditions.

Iman Al-Farshouti, a social consultant, told Arab News that orphans “had their greatest share in the transformation within the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, where they were integrated into society and all obstacles getting in their way were eliminated.

“The ministry took it upon itself to care for orphans, integrate them into the society, enact regulations and laws that guarantee them their right to care, equality and justice, with the rest of the segments of the society, and to work on improving their conditions and future to become productive citizens as any other citizen.”

Al-Farshouti added that compulsory health insurance is designed to help orphans lead normal lives and become effective members of society.

Lawyer Saad Shaya said that the compulsory insurance for foster orphans is an extension of the Kingdom’s care for them.

He added that health insurance and other initiatives “widens the scope of multiplicity, diversity and ease of access to health facilities, with an option to choose the most appropriate among them. This provides foster orphans with an intensive and fast care, resulting in an integrated care for them, and reaching the highest level of required sufficiency and desired results.”

Another lawyer, Mosaad Al-Enezi, told Arab News: “This decision aims to provide orphans living with beneficiary families with additional care in implementation of the state’s policies on protecting children’s rights, namely children of unknown parents, and their right to comprehensive health care.”

He added: “The Kingdom has been committed, since its founding, to protecting children’s rights. This was established by its accession to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.”

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