Bahrain private clinics face adverts clamp
Manama, February 2, 2013
Private medical clinics in Bahrain have been accused of duping patients by claiming to cure people of diseases within minutes.
Several establishments have been caught publishing misleading advertisements in the media, according to the National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA).
"This is clearly considered an entrapment of innocent people," said NHRA chief executive Dr Baha Eldin Fathea.
"These advertisements are promising scoliosis treatment by ozone therapy or cure for others in five minutes... it is ridiculous."
A Gulf Daily News scan of a popular weekly Arabic classified magazine found dozens of private clinics promising to treat erectile dysfunction, dental problems and other conditions which, when referred to the NHRA, were found to be misleading.
"Some of them do not have licences to carry out these procedures," said Dr Fathea.
"The NHRA is cracking down on these private clinics, which frequently advertise (misleadingly) about the treatments they offer."
Dr Fathea said legal action had already been taken against one private clinic for such an offence. “The case has been referred to the Public Prosecution," he said.
Describing those responsible as "criminals," the NHRA head said one doctor working in a private clinic ran off after being confronted by an inspector.
"In this case, our inspector asked the medical personnel to show his licence to which he said it was in his car. He went downstairs to his car and ran away," he said.
"Consultants working in hospitals have to get permission (a licence) from the NHRA to go ahead with their medical practice."
Dr Fathea said another worrying trend becoming popular among clinics was offering free dental implants for treatment.
"With one implant, you get another one free," he said.
"This is a humiliating practice and is wrong. Medicine is not a commercial issue but caring for people.”
"Public awareness is the key here to educate the masses and we certainly want the media to play an important role in spreading right information."
The NHRA ordered a private clinic in Mahooz to be temporarily closed last Monday after an Arab resident was caught treating patients without a licence.
It also ordered a private hospital to be shut down after it was found to be lacking hygiene, while its treatment and follow-up room were deemed unsafe by a probe committee. – TradeArabia News Service