Bahrain - 58 complaints of medical negligence
Thursday, 11 02 2017, Category: Health, Country: Bahrain
Bahrain - Fifty-eight complaints of medical negligence were investigated by the National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) last year, it has been revealed.
Of these, 24 cases were referred to various disciplinary committees for action while two were transferred to the Public Prosecution, said Bahrain Medical Society (BMS) president Mohammed Rafie.
He was speaking at a workshop, Insurance Against Medical Errors, organised by Takaful International Company in association with BMS at the latter’s premises in Juffair yesterday.
A number of doctors and health care professions attended discussions on ways to provide insurance cover to workers in the medical and health fields against negligence claims.
Dr Rafie pointed out that despite the strict administrative and legal procedures in Bahrain, a medical error is always a possibility.
“International studies show that medical error is the third leading cause of deaths, after chronic diseases and road accidents.
“Insuring against accidental medical negligence will improve the environment in which doctors work and also support government’s efforts to improve the provision of health and medical services to citizens and residents in accordance with the highest international standards.”
He also urged the Health Ministry to provide legal protection to doctors, to allocate a room and a judge to examine medical error claims and not to arrest a doctor until after a final decision to convict him is taken.
Dr Rafie reiterated public demands to improve the health institutions, allocate protection units at these facilities, increase the number of medical staff, employ more specialists and ensure better working environment and pay packets to prevent doctors from emigrating.
“Meeting some of these demands will enhance the status of the health sector in Bahrain and also help doctors provide better medical services to doctors,” he said.
Speaking to the GDN on the sidelines of the workshop, Dr Rafie said the number of medical errors reported in Bahrain were fewer compared to other countries.
Despite that, however, doctors taking part in the symposium recommended that government hospitals and health centres cover workers against any accidental medical negligence.
Owners of private clinics and their employees have an optional medical accident insurance policy, he pointed out.
“It is important for a doctor to have protection in case of any allegation of medical malpractice,” he told the GDN.
“Allegations of medical malpractices can sometimes be exaggerated by the media which can lead to an increase in false medical malpractice complaints.
“We have had a lot of complaints which were investigated but failed to prove any negligence on the part of the doctors or medical centres.
“However, the rise in complaints indicate an increase in awareness about medical malpractice ever since the establishment of the National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA).”
He said the insurance package on the table in co-operation with Tamkeen was not compulsory for doctors.
“But we hope the hospitals provide compulsory insurance for their doctors.”
A spokesman for Takaful International Company said the aim of the workshop was to raise awareness of the importance of insurance protection against claims of medical malpractice.
“Claims of medical errors may cost the establishments a lot of money,” said chief executive Younis Al Sayed.
“In a recent report the World Health Organisation estimated the annual volume of expenditure on such claims to exceed $42 billion – equivalent to one per cent of the volume of global expenditure on medical services.”