The department of social services has been established in KFSH&RC since 1979. The objective of the department is to provide superior health care services for patients and to support them in dealing with economical and social conditions that can have a negative impact on their treatment. Therefore, the medical social worker plays an active role in the medical team of the hospital.
Medical Social Service:
The medical social service is a set of specialized professional services provided by social workers to patients during their treatment stages in the hospital. The objective of the service is to lend a helping hand to patients & their families, and ensure they receive the best treatment while overcoming difficulties against cultural, social and physical challenges faced by patients.
The role of the social worker in KFSH&RC:
- Visit patients and inform them about the role of the social worker and the services provided by social services department.
- Helping patients overcome social difficulties and supporting their families during the treatment process by identifying and assessing their social challenges. Providing financial aid or referral to charities in Riyadh, based on the assessment.
- Providing guidance and social support to patients and their families, as well as helping them overcome fear and anxiety.
- Working closely with the medical team regarding social and environmental information about the patient and his family.
- Visiting patients’ residence, if necessary, in order to examine their social and environmental condition, and accordingly extend necessary assistance.
- Identifying cases that require the attention of Ministry of Social Affairs and helping them get financial assistance or avail of medical procedures through dedicated programs.
- Identifying patients who suffer from incurable diseases and providing them free air tickets for better treatment as per the regulations of Ministry of Health.
- Providing temporary housing facilities to patients who undergo transplant procedures in KFSH&RC, or patients who receive chemotherapy or radiation therapy and other therapies in outpatient’s clinics. Or Introduce patients and their attendants to charities that offer housing services.
- Cooperating with the Ministry of Social Affairs and General Directorate of Social Support. Ensuring confidentiality of such cases and supporting patients & their families in overcoming the stress.
- Arranging special transportation for female patients with kidney failure in order to help them overcome the difficulties of reaching hospital for treatment.
- Participating in the educational programs organized by the hospital.
- Cooperating with the representatives of Ministry of Social Affairs and charity organizations, highlighting patients' financial and social needs through regular meetings and raising the level of support services.
- Training the social service department students across various universities.
- Identifying social cases that need immediate attention and following up with them.
The social services department is available at Jeddah & King Fahd Center for Children’s Cancer, where the social professionals are working towards achieving the above-mentioned objectives.