Probes into errors alarm medics
Manama, October 14, 2013
Bahrain's doctors are operating in a climate of fear that could lead to more cases of medical negligence, it has been claimed.
Two doctors were suspended last month in connection with the death of Bahraini Fatima Ali Hussain, 12, who died following an alleged botched procedure at Salmaniya Medical Complex, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Several other medics involved in the operation are also facing a disciplinary action, while at least two other cases of medical negligence in private hospitals are also being investigated, the report said.
But the Bahrain Medical Society (BMS) says the "aggressive" approach by authorities could end up undermining patient care, it said.
"It should be made clear that we are not against any investigation or disciplinary committee as this is a question of patient rights," said society head Dr Maha Al Kawari.
"But this aggressive approach by Health Ministry and private hospitals of suspending doctors without informing us will affect the medical fraternity in Bahrain."
Dr Al Kawari said the society was aware of a paediatrician and an administrative staff member at a private hospital being suspended in relation to another case.
She claims all of this has led to a climate of fear among medical professionals.
"They may not be able to treat patients or will be scared with all eyes on them," she said.
"This could result in more mistakes and errors which is not good.
"I feel whatever we do will be judged by someone, which makes mine and the jobs of others difficult.
"This is the problem we are facing right now."
The BMS urged the Health Ministry and National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) to allow BMS members to be part of investigations related to medics.
"We are yet to hear from the Health Ministry to be included in all investigations to ensure transparency and rights of medics are not violated."
Bahrain Bloc MP Ahmed Al Sa'ati repeated calls for Health Minister Sadiq Al Shehabi to resign.
"We are not against the minister but it seems he is taking this whole issue too personal," he said.
"The spate of deaths at the Salmaniya Medical Complex since last month is certainly worrying for us and everyone, who want answers."
The MP said he was collecting evidence and witnesses to make a strong case against the ministry.
"The whole health system needs to be revamped immediately," he added.
Health Ministry officials confirmed three investigations were underway into allegations of medical negligence, but would not make any other comment. - TradeArabia News Service