Najran, Saudi Arabia, Asharq Al-Awsat – A legal team made up of Saudi and non-Saudi experts and consultants filed a lawsuit last Monday against the Saudi Ministry of Health on behalf of Mohamed Bin Salem Al Minjem, a Saudi national, and his spouse who were mistakenly given the son of a Turkish couple living in Saudi Arabia five years ago in King Khaled Hospital in Najran.
The Saudi Health Ministry’s spokesman refused to comment stating that the ministry is yet to receive a report on this case.
Lawyer Abdullah Rajab Al Mushref told Asharq Al-Awsat that there is a strong link between the serious mistake committed by the personnel at King Khaled Hospital in Najran and the [psychological] harm that has been caused to the Saudi and Turkish families involved in the case, and this necessitates compensation in terms of both Shariah and state law.
For his part, Mohamed Bin Salem Al Minjem said, “We had to continue with the rehabilitation treatment of the two children at our own expense, which has cost us over 200,000 Saudi Riyals. We travelled to Turkey and enrolled the two children at a nursery for three months. The results were positive and helped the two children significantly to integrate. This encouraged us to repeat the trip to Turkey again.”
“I am not doing this for financial compensation; all the money in the world could not compensate for the psychological harm that this has caused me and my family. I’ve appointed an attorney to represent me and to file a case against the Ministry of Health for the sake of my moral rights and so that those embroiled in the case will be held to account and will be given the maximum penalty possible,” said Al Minjem.
Al Minjem added that he was extremely angry at the negligence of Health Ministry officials. However, the way in which Saudi society has reacted to the case has demonstrated good will and has eased the family’s sufferings.
Yosef Joja, the father of the Turkish child mistakenly given to Al Minjem said that he took his biological child back to Turkey to rehabilitate the child and that the two children need more time to settle.