Sickle cell 'fake medicine' probe
Manama, November 20, 2013
By Mohammed Al A'Ali
An investigation has been launched into claims that counterfeit medicine has been given to patients with sickle cell anaemia being treated at Bahrain's main hospital.
Health Minister Sadiq Al Shehabi yesterday ordered the probe after the allegations were made during parliament's weekly session, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
MP Ali Shamtoot, a sickle cell patient, brought "evidence" to back up his claims against Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC), which he waved in front of colleagues.
"We have reached 25 sickle cell anaemia victims so far this year and it is clear that Al Shehabi is not doing his job properly in providing us with the necessary medical assistance or listening to directives from the Premier to provide us with specialised treatment," he said.
He made the claims as MPs debated a proposal to improve services for sickle cell patients, which was later unanimously approved and referred to the Cabinet.
"An immediate probe will be launched into Shamtoot's claims because we are concerned about the welfare of sickle cell patients and medication given to them," Al Shehabi told MPs.
"Sickle cell deaths are not the only deaths that we see in SMC, there are other people who die from other illnesses - I am a minister and not God.
"The number of sickle cell deaths has dropped from last year, which saw 38, and this is because we have taken huge steps in tackling problems over the past few months.
"We are currently working on a new centre for hereditary diseases.
"There are five health centres with dedicated staff for sickle cell patients and two clinics for males and another for females."
Meanwhile, MPs approved a proposal to study the dangers and side-effects of liposuction and weight reduction surgeries. MPs also agreed to investigate the reasons for an increase in asthma patients and ensure regular cancer check-ups for Bahrainis. - TradeArabia News Service