The concept of social responsibility has evolved into an approach adopted by health institutions towards uplifting the community. Hospitals across the Arab world and the Gulf countries have recognized the importance of their ethical role in the field of awareness. Therefore, they have undertaken to establish mechanisms and action plans centered around how to convey medical information and encourage society to adopt healthy habits.
Hospitals are increasingly launching new initiatives as part of their social responsibility programs and their charitable ethos that is embedded in their core work. They bear a moral responsibility to spread awareness and culture among community members by expanding awareness-raising activities and enhancing educational and health services.
In the midst of the rapid developments experienced by the medical sector on various fronts, the concept of social responsibility has emerged among modern concepts, considering that any hospital is a part of the community. Therefore, it is its duty to serve the community and connect it to the field of healthcare by adopting awareness programs and annual initiatives.
Today’s hospitals are doing commendable work in implementing health awareness programs, increasing health awareness, and planting correct concepts that help improve individuals’ lives and correct misconceptions among their families and relatives. In addition to providing distinguished and high-quality health services, serving the community has become central to the strategic plans of any hospital, reflecting its commitment to improving people’s lives in all aspects of life.
The hospital’s social responsibility is considered a part of its ethics, where hospitals in the region have heavily invested in various community, sports, educational, social, humanitarian, and health initiatives. These programs and initiatives include physical, mental, and social health for the individual and the community, aiming to provide comprehensive healthcare for entire communities.
Social responsibility is defined as the ongoing commitment of the healthcare institution to acting ethically and contributing to social development, enhancing the quality of life for the workforce and their families, as well as the local community and society as a whole.
Gaining the patient’s trust
Hospitals across the Arab world offer high-quality medical services and do their utmost to obtain international accreditation to be primarily a trustworthy source for patients and the community at large. To achieve this, these hospitals spend vast amounts of money to attract the best expertise, human resources, and modern equipment to gain the community’s trust. Herein lies the importance of social work in conveying the hospital’s message. It plays a pivotal role in this context by highlighting the hospital’s performance on one hand and educating the community on the other.
The patient must have confidence in the hospital and the healthcare services it provides, which doesn’t come easily. For hospitals to earn the patient’s trust and loyalty, they need to go beyond healthcare services and aim to establish a social and emotional relationship with the patient through ethical practices.
Human Resources Continuity
Enhancing the hospital’s ability to attract and employ a high-caliber human cadre and ensuring their work continuity is vital for its reputation. This affirms the hospital’s adherence to ethical standards. Such commitment is essential for employee loyalty, which, in turn, reflects on patient satisfaction and their trust. Adopting social responsibility towards human resources in this sector plays a significant role in enhancing job satisfaction. This boosts their desire to continue working with even better performance. Having a competent human cadre and maintaining its continuity helps in deepening the social role and fosters a spirit of collaboration and initiative among the employees themselves. This positively influences their interaction with community members and institutions through the implementation of community responsibility plans, which include activities and tasks related to various awareness-raising themes, comprising a series of educational programs and scientific research.
In recent years, hospitals have been keen on launching awareness programs and health initiatives primarily aimed at serving the community. They aim to deliver health information in a simplified and smooth manner, stemming from the importance of raising awareness about emerging health problems in the community, such as obesity, diabetes, hypertension, and other diseases that need to be combated, educating and informing the community about their dangers and prevention methods. Recent years have seen the launch of numerous community health initiatives that played a fundamental role in strengthening the health system and achieving comprehensive healthcare. This is achieved by focusing on combating diseases that most affect communities with the goal of reducing their prevalence and mortality rates, such as infectious diseases, non-communicable chronic diseases (heart diseases, diabetes, kidney failure), and cancers like breast and colon cancer.
Hospitals have benefited from social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and others. They have created educational health accounts to post concise yet informative clips and scenes. Additionally, some hospitals also organize gatherings in parks, festivals, or shopping centers to reach a larger segment of society. Sometimes, hospitals head to schools and universities to raise cultural awareness according to the topic and target group. Awareness caravans, like those widespread in October for breast cancer awareness month, are launched. There are also awareness caravans about diabetes in general and diabetic foot in particular, discussing prevention methods and wound management.