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.
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.