The Law Firm of Hazim Al Madani Attorneys and Legal Consultants
Organizing the national centers for the elderly in Saudi Arabia
On July 9, 2020 AD corresponding to Dhu al-Qi’dah 18, 1441 AH, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development issued its resolution to approve the regulatory controls for elderly national centers, in order to regulate the work of the centers of the elderly people, and encourage the private sector and the non-profit sector to participate in providing residential and non-residential services, to accommodate the elderly, in centers designated to provide services for the elderly, whether they are men or women.
The controls have been set up to organize the national centers for elderly people, some binding conditions must be met by natural and legal persons, and other special conditions that must be met when accepting elderly people, whether they are men or women.
The most prominent features of the ministerial resolution issued to regulate elderly national centers:
Conditions set for obtaining a license to practice the activity of caring for and housing the elderly in the national centers:
Conditions set for natural persons:
- Some conditions must be met for the license applicant who is of natural persons, as he shall not be a government employee, he shall be Saudi, he shall have a scientific qualification not less than a bachelor’s degree as a minimum, as he also shall not have a final judgment, of being convicted of a crime involving breach of honor and trust, unless he has been rehabilitated, the natural person shall not have got a previous license for an elderly center, and it has been closed, for violating the regulatory controls of the elderly centers, unless at least 3 years have passed since the violation, because the passage of that period allows the applicant to submit an application for obtaining the license again.
Conditions set for legal persons/entities:
• The legal persons, which are represented in the private sector and the non-profit sector, shall be Saudi, and if it is foreign, then it shall obtain an investment license in the Saudi Arabia, the legal person shall add in its commercial register its activity related to the services of the elderly, or extracting an independent commercial register for that activity, the legal persons shall establish a special department for it to manage the elderly center, independent of the administration that manages the legal entity in the event of multiple activities of the legal person, and finally, the legal person shall mention the remaining period specified for the existence of the legal entity is not less than the period of the activity license, as the term of the license shall correspond to the period set for the existence of the legal person, noting that, the term of the license shall not exceed it, and finally, the legal person shall appoint a representative, while submitting an application for obtaining the license.
- According to the afore-mentioned, generally, there must be general supervision, and to be unoccupied for license applicants, whether they are natural or legal persons, and in all cases, the legal person shall appoint a representative for it.
Conditions set for whoever manages the national center of the elderly people:
- Whoever manages the elderly center shall be a Saudi national, the manager shall obtain a university qualification not less than a bachelor’s degree, from one of the Saudi Arabia’s universities, or universities recognized by the Ministry of Education, in one of the social, health, or educational specializations, the manager shall have all powers to exercise his responsibilities in the Center, as also, he shall not have a final judgment, that has been issued against him as a guilty of a crime involving breach of honor and trust, unless he has been rehabilitated.
Procedures for obtaining the license:
Conditions and documents required for while submitting an application for obtaining license for natural persons:
- The natural person shall submit an electronic application to obtain the license, attached by a copy of the national identity card, a copy of the academic qualification, a certificate of absence of precedents, and specifying the type of service, in terms of whether it is a day care, a social club, a temporary residence, or a permanent residence, the natural person shall also attach, an official report from an approved engineering office, that includes neighborhood, street and building data, indicating the validity and safety of the proposed center for care and accommodation, the national address, contact information, in terms of residence, e-mail, mobile number, and a copy of the commercial register.
Conditions and documents required for while submitting an application for obtaining license for legal persons:
- The legal person shall submit an electronic application to obtain the license, attached by a copy of the investment license, if the legal entity is a foreign entity, and specify the type of service, in terms of whether it is a day care, a social club, a temporary residence, or a permanent residence, an official report from an approved engineering office that includes neighborhood, street and building data, showing the validity and safety of the proposed center for care and accommodation, the national address, and contact information, in terms of residence, e-mail, mobile number, as also, the legal person shall attach a copy of the commercial registration and license, or what proves its legal status, Provided that it is valid, the original is brought for conformity, and also the social insurance certificate, the Zakat and Income Authority certificate, and the name of the legal representative shall be specified, to complete the licensing procedures (authorization approved by the legal entity), and finally, the legal person shall also submit a copy of the national identity, as well, a sketch of the site of the proposed center, including the neighborhood, street and building data, and submitting a contract of incorporation for the company or non-profit organization, and the remaining period specified for the existence of the legal person shall not be less than the period of the activity license.
Some provisions regarding procedures for obtaining a license:
- The final license is issued by the Ministry, after verification and ensuring that all requirements for issuing the license are met, the license period is (5 years), The license gets ended with the expiration of that period, when the agency refuses the application of license’s renewal, but if the agency accepts the renewal request, then it is renewed.
- The license application shall be made within at least 180 days, prior to the expiry of the license period. If the owner of the center didn’t not submit a renewal request during that period, then he would be subject to the penalties stipulated in the regulatory controls as a result of that.
Conditions set for admission to eligibility national centers for the elderly people:
- The elderly people get hosted in the centers according to the cognitive category of the elderly, to their mobility, audio and visual disabilities, and to their needs of personal and medical care programs, the elderly people shall be free from communicable, infectious, psychological and mental diseases, as also they shall not pose a threat to themselves or others, Each category of elderly has a specific center designated to host it, that center receives a specific age group of the elderly, as a result, the center obtains a license from the Ministry, in accordance with Article 17 of the regulatory controls.
- The age groups stipulated in Article 17 of the regulatory controls shall be adhered by the centers, when hosting the elderly, additionally, the elderly are required and obligated to be clear of communicable or contagious diseases in permanent residency centers, by virtue of a health certificate issued by one of the approved government or private hospitals, the regulatory controls prohibits hosting or admission of the elderly who have severe mental disorders, which pose a danger to himself or others, and are subject to continuous drug treatment, in which they need specialized psychological medical care.
- Obtaining a written consent of an elderly person is a MUST, before hosting him/her accommodatingly, adding to that, the center shall complete the proof of evidence, when hosting the elderly, on the other hand, if there is a lack of awareness or disability with regard to the elderly people, then the approval is required in a Written manner by his guardian, according to the guardianship deed, noting that the accommodation hosting does not take place until after the social study is conducted and the beneficiary’s need for the service is proven.
- Whenever the violation is committed, the agency makes a field visit to the center, to control the violation in a written manner, then directing the first warning to the center, in order to correct the violation, within 30 days, to remove the violation, After the passage of that period without removing the violation, it issues a second warning to the center, of stopping the services of the center, then to give a period of not more than 15 days, to correct and remove the violation, and if the center does not comply with that, and continues to violate it, the ministry has the right to impose penalties, such as, the temporary suspension of the center’s electronic services at the ministry for a period not exceeding 180 days (by the agency), activity’s suspension of the center for a period not exceeding one year, or withdrawing and canceling the license, through the minister or his representative, upon the recommendation of the Violation Review Committee.
- It is permissible to object to the penalty decision before the minister or his representative within 60 days from the date of notification, The objection does not prevent the immediate implementation of the decision, as it is also permissible to appeal against the decision of the minister or his representative, before the competent administrative courts within 60 days, From the date of notification of the decision.
- Important note: If a decision is issued to temporarily suspend any center that provides shelter services for a period not exceeding one year, then the center must settle the beneficiaries ’status, either by handing them over to their families or transferring them to other shelter centers, and notifying the Ministry of that.
Provisions for the violation review committee:
- The Violation Review Committee: is a committee formed by the minister or his representative, which examines violations of the regulatory controls for the elderly national centers, and directs the recommendation to impose penalties on the violating centers, and submits these decisions and recommendations to the minister, or whoever delegates him for approval.
- The Violation review committee: consists of 3 Members, one from the Agency for Rehabilitation and Social Guidance, a member of the General Administration of Elderly Services, and a legal advisor from the Ministry.
Some general provisions related to regulatory controls for eligibility centers for elderly people:
- When stopping the activity, or not renewing or canceling the center’s license, The owner of the center shall fulfill his obligations towards the beneficiaries of the services and their families, and the rights of the workers, after the notification of the suspension, not renewing or canceling the license, within 60 days, and in the event that the matter has not been handled friendly and amicably, then the competent court shall settle matter. The owner of the center is directly responsible for bearing all the consequences of stopping the center’s activity or not renewing, withdrawing or canceling the license, when violating the requirements of the regulatory controls of the national elderly centers.
- The ownership of the center shall be transferred to one of the heirs of the center’s owner, within 180 days from the date of his/her death. The conditions set and shall be met by the heir are several, such as, the heir shall be a Saudi, not a government employee, and clear of a final judgment that, has been issued against him, because of convicting him according to a commitment of a crime involving breach of honor and trust, unless he has been rehabilitated, as the heir shall also have a university degree not less than a bachelor’s degree, he shall not have obtained a license for a previous center that, was closed for committing a violation, unless the date of the violation has passed 3 years.
Furthermore, if these conditions were not met by the heir, then the heirs shall appoint a representative for them, in which he fulfilled the conditions, so when the conditions are met, the agency agrees and approves the appointment of the legal representative of the heirs. Finally, it must be noted that, whenever the ownership of the center is transferred within 180 days, from the date of the death center’s owner to the heir, the agency has the permission to submit to the minister a recommendation to cancel the license.
- Obligating the center to treat the beneficiary, if he was exposed to any damage or injury as a result of negligence by one of the center’s employees, additionally, the treatment does not prevent the injured beneficiary or his guardian from claiming the center for the rights resulting from the damage or injury to which he was exposed, adding to that, if anyone of the beneficiaries was exposed to violence, then the Ministry has the power to refer those who have been subjected to violence and those involved in it, to the competent authorities to take the necessary measures.
- The Ministry shall coordinate with the technical department, to submit report to the Violation Review Committee, to do its role in recommending one of the penalties stipulated in the regulatory controls, which are mentioned in, warning or suspending the electronic services of the center temporarily for a period not exceeding 180 days, stopping the activity for 1 year, or the withdrawing and cancelling the license, These penalties are expected in the event that the beneficiary is exposed to death, damage, injury, or violence.
Furthermore, it must be noted that, whenever the penalty is imposed, the severity of the violation and its recurrence or not, shall be taken into account, adding to that, if there is a criminal suspicion of this Acts related to death, damage, injury, or violence, the suspicion is referred to the competent authorities to take the necessary measures, without prejudice to the rights of the beneficiary or his family.
- Obliging the center to keep a record of deaths, and another record of injuries that occurred inside the center. The center shall also, mention the date of death or injury, then to clarify and explain the cause of death, finally, it shall also take the action in this regard and record it.
- The center is obliged to transfer the affected person to the competent health authority, if he was exposed to damage, as also the center shall inform the security authorities immediately, upon the death of the beneficiary, his injury, or his exposure to food poisoning, it must be noted that, if the beneficiary is in a contagious condition, then he shall be transferred immediately upon his diagnosis, to the Ministry of Health Hospital And to be isolated in the isolation room, to take the necessary measures for his condition, then to inform the technical management of that.
- The center is required to provide a place for workers ’accommodation that is completely isolated from the places of residence of inmates.
- The Ministry has the power to purchase service from community centers when needed, in accordance with the requirements set by the ministry.
- Obligating the centers which are previously licensed, to adjust their conditions according to the minister’s decision of amendment or adding a ruling to regulatory controls for elderly national centers, the adjustment takes place within 90 days from the date of the decision issued to amend or add a ruling to regulatory controls.