Bahrain to open up health sector
Manama, November 9, 2011
Bahrain is to cut red tape as part of attempts to open up its healthcare sector and encourage private investment.
New laws will be introduced and existing rules and regulations updated to bring them more into line with international trends, said National Health Regulatory Authority chief executive officer Dr Baha Eldin Fateha.
'The only way we can ease the burden on government health facilities is to open up the sector,' he told the Gulf Daily News, our sister newspaper. 'No public healthcare system in the world can cope with the country's entire population.'
Dr Fateha said modern healthcare-related laws now being framed will ensure there were no obstacles in the way of private investments once they had received the green light from the government.
'Laws now in place mean investors face several obstacles at every step,' he said. 'The new laws would be very rigid, but would ensure that once all requirements are satisfactorily met, investors would have no more clearances to take.
'Everyone can come and invest provided the law allows them to and they fit the criteria.'
Dr Fateha said there had been cases of some investors who had been waiting for more than two years to renew their licences.
'This is not helping encourage investments, on the contrary this will lead to people turning away,' he said.
The official revealed new laws would be introduced and existing laws modernised and updated in keeping with international trends and the open market principle.
'The feeling now is that there are unnecessary obstacles in way of investments,' he said. 'Why should that happen unless one wants to hinder an investor's application by unnecessary paperwork?'
Dr Fateha also revealed plans were in the pipeline to speed up the settling of patient complaints within a few weeks - unless the matter required to go to court.
'These take far too long to be finished at the moment. We have to ensure that does not happen,' he said. – TradeArabia News Service