Bahrain hospital vows legal action
Manama, June 6, 2011
Swift and strict action against anyone violating rules and regulations at Bahrain’s Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC), health officials said.
The pledge was made during a visit by Health Ministry Under-Secretary Dr Abdul Hai Al Awadhi to the hospital to take stock of the situation after the lifting of the State of National Safety.
'We will not hesitate to take administrative and legal measures against anyone who tries to take the law into his or her own hands and works contrary to the laws and regulations,' he said. 'The provisions of the Civil Services Law will also be strictly applied, in addition to other measures being taken.'
Dr Al Awadhi visited the hospital's major departments and met officials and patients. 'The functioning of the hospital is now back to normal and everything is in order,' he said.
'The occupancy rates as well as patients' attendance in various departments are between 80 per cent and 100 per cent, as it was before the unrest began in February.'
During that time, the SMC in particular, had come under the spotlight after protesters occupied the hospital for nearly a month.
Several doctors, among them consultants and other specialists, were alleged to have covered up crimes at the hospital, where security forces found machine guns after evicting protesters on March 16.
Authorities said two Bahrainis died because medical staff made their injuries worse for camera crews, while ambulances were used as taxis for protesters.
Medical staff allegedly also administered drugs to induce symptoms in patients making it appear they had been attacked with nerve gas, denied medical services to certain people and illegally detained other health personnel and patients, among other things.
Twenty-three doctors, as well as 23 nurses and care providers, have been referred to court for legal action.
Acting Health Minister Dr Fatima Al Balooshi earlier said the medical licences of 30 doctors and nurses had been suspended, with a further 150 under investigation by a probe committee.
'All the hospital's out patient departments have been regularly reporting attendance of more than 80 per cent,' said Dr Al Awadhi.
'The day case unit is reporting an attendance of 100 per cent while the surgical department is working at 90 per cent of its capacity. The Accident and Emergency department is also reporting between 600 and 700 patients a day. All this is testimony to the fact that the hospital is back to what it was before.'
The under-secretary applauded the efforts of all doctors as well as other staff during the month of turmoil and said they toiled hard to provide services to patients.
'They have made all efforts to ensure the hospital is now once again what it should be and have vowed to keep it that way,' she said. – TradeArabia News Service