86 cases are filed against Bahrain hospitals
Manama, June 10, 2014
Private hospitals and clinics accounted for more than half of criminal complaints against medical facilities in Bahrain last year, it has emerged.
A total of 86 complaints were filed by public and private sector patients at the National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA), according to a new report.
Of those 39 cases were referred to the courts with 22 concluded, eight cases still continuing and documents still being collected in nine, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
The NHRA's annual report for 2013 states that 55 per cent of cases referred for criminal investigation involved private institutions, while the rest were connected to public hospitals.
It adds most of the 86 complaints were related to nursing (31 per cent), followed by surgeries (22 per cent), gynaecology (eight per cent), internal medicine (six per cent) and dentistry (four per cent).
They included allegations of botched anaesthesia and general surgery.
Complaints against public sector hospitals involved Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC), the BDF Hospital and King Hamad University Hospital.
Of the 86 complaints received throughout the year, 32 were registered in January 2013 alone.
"January registered the highest number of complaints from patients primarily because some of the pending complaints from the previous year were carried forward," it said.
It stated that NHRA investigations had been completed in 45 cases, while 26 were still underway and required documents were being collected in 15 cases.
"The (surgery) complaints related to surgeries including cosmetic, orthopaedic and vascular," states the report.
It recommends changes to the law such as strict rules governing alternative medicine and the creation of specialisations within the field.
The report also calls for legislation to tackle unregistered medicines being sold in Bahrain, saying people in Bahrain were buying them online.
Among cases referred to the NHRA last year was the death of Fatima Ali Hussain, 12, who was allegedly the victim of medical negligence.
There was a public outcry when she died in September after a routine procedure to treat an ovarian cyst went horribly wrong.
Fatima never regained consciousness after an oxygen tube was inserted down her oesophagus instead of her trachea during laparoscopic surgery, according to a senior doctor on duty at the time.
A Health Ministry medical report stated a trainee anaesthetist was responsible for wrong insertion of the tube.
"We have also registered two cases this year of men who died after consuming Clorox (bleach) at the Psychiatric Hospital," said rights activist Salman Nasser.
"The two patients suffered from mental illness and one of them warned hospital staff he would kill himself."
He claimed one of the men was referred to SMC where he died, while the other died at the Psychiatric Hospital.
"There are big question marks in these two cases," said Nasser.
"The families of the two men do not want to discuss their cases because of social taboo, but we know the NHRA is conducting its probe." - TradeArabia News Service