New clampdown on Bahrain hospitals
Manama, December 24, 2012
Bahrain's hospitals and clinics have been given 24 hours to report any deaths during surgery following a string of violations reported to the country's medical watchdog, according to a report.
The National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) has already initiated disciplinary action against three private hospitals, a clinic at Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) and a leading private practice doctor for negligence, improper patient care and violation of medical ethics, said the report published in our sister newspaper the Gulf Daily News (GDN).
However, NHRA chief executive Dr Baha Eldin Fathea has now warned all medical facilities to report any such incidents within 48 hours and any deaths caused during surgery within 24 hours or they could face serious action.
"Any death as a result of complications of surgery will have to be reported immediately," he told the GDN.
"The new rules are being implemented within a few weeks, pending approval from the NHRA board. These steps are part of efforts of the government to regulate Bahrain's health services and bring in more accountability."
It will also be mandatory for hospitals to report any incidents involving operating on the wrong patient, operating on the wrong organ or serious complications caused by administration of drugs, explained Dr Fathea.
"Severe post blood transfusion, drug interactions as well as any maternal death related to pregnancy or delivery will also have to be reported within a specified time," he added.
Dr Fathea said hospitals will also have to give a detailed report of action taken to prevent the recurrence of such events.
"If we get a patient complaining about an incident at a hospital and we have no knowledge of it, the facility will be in trouble and will face the consequences," he warned.
Several hospitals are under preliminary investigation for failing to abide by medical regulations and for inadequate facilities, lack of available medication and unlicensed and unqualified staff treating patients.
Three leading private hospitals and at least one private clinic are also in the dock for charges related to causing the death of patients to using the services of unqualified and unlicensed doctors to treat patients.
Authorities had already shut down three private clinics for using unlicensed doctors to diagnose and treat patients.
Inspectors caught the practitioners red-handed after they were brought into the country as visiting doctors, but were never registered with the NHRA.
The health watchdog said the doctors offered quick and unrealistic treatments to chronic diseases. – TradeArabia News Service