The Ministry of Health & Prevention (MoHAP) has announced the launching of a new E-service to submit complaints or observations against the private medical facilities, its medical and technical staff, which are dealing with members of the society.
The service aims to ensure that healthcare service providers fulfill their role in accordance with global standards, and within the context of MoHAP’s policy in upgrading E-services, with a view to promoting health system quality and innovating smart solutions, besides the commitment to carrying out quality systems.
Dealing with cases of default in providing healthcare services
Dr. Hessa Mubarak, Director of the Department of Health Empowerment and Compliance said that the Ministry of Health & Prevention doesn’t accept any shortcomings in terms of providing healthcare services. The ministry is dealing firmly with any shortcomings - if proven - by the private medical facilities and its medical staff, whether doctors or nurses or technicians. Further to that, the ministry is imposing sanctions if those shortcomings or medical errors are confirmed.
A Legislative Umbrella for Regulating Medical Practices
Dr. Mubarak also pointed out that number of complaints are fewer than the international rates in the developed countries, because of the robust requirements and specifications adopted by MoHAP in the event of licensing the private medical facilities, noting that this new service comes within a package of MoHAP’s E-services which aim to enhance health system quality and innovate smart solutions, as well as the commitment to carrying out quality systems, in order to upgrade services and contribute positively to developing public policies and strategies, that seek happiness of the society.
Permanent control of private health facilities
She explained that the Ministry has worked to implement a strict framework for better control over requirements for medical practices. Article No. 4 of the decree stipulates the following: The doctor must follow the rules, regulations and procedures for practicing the profession according to his degree and field of specialization; record the health status of the patient and his/her personal and family history prior to initiating diagnosis and treatment; and use the necessary diagnostic and medical devices in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with all due diligence and according to the accepted scientific principles, and explain the various treatment options to patients.
The law also requires a thorough description of the treatment, the dose, and the method of use, in a clearly written statement with the name and signature of the practitioner, and the date of the prescription. The same should be explained to the patient or his caregiver. The patient or his caregiver must also be notified about the nature of his disease, its level, and this depends on the psychological status of the patient. The patient’s caregivers are required to be informed should the patient be unable to understand, due to poor condition. A patient or his guardian must be informed about any complications that can occur as a result of the treatment or surgery he or she will undergo, with the ways to treat it.
The Supreme Committee for Medical Liability
Dr. Mubarak further said: “Private medical facilities always undergo a strict and permanent scrutiny, in order to prevent malpractice of unlicensed doctors and to reduce cases of negligence, shortcomings and medical errors, which lead to impose heavy sanctions and fines, that might reach final closure of the facility. In the meantime, doctors, who committed medical errors, are punished in accordance to Medical Liability Law. The medical liability falls on doctors, except in cases of patient’s negligence due to not following the medical instructions, and in case of common complications or the sudden one but not because of medical errors.”
“The doctor is referred to committees of medical liability and the Supreme Committee for Medical Liability, which is established by the Health Minister’s resolution or head of the health authority. Those committees comprise experts in various medical specialties, to consider medical complaints about evaluating the medical error. Claims for compensation are only accepted after being examined by the committees of the medical liability. The defendant may appeal the committee’s report within 30 days, then the reports will be referred to the Supreme Committee for Medical Liability, which is formed by the cabinet’s resolution,” added Mubarak.