National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) Chief Executive Officer Mariam Adhbi Al Jalahma has confirmed the accreditation of 16 hospitals in the Kingdom.
Only three hospital approvals have been pending due to measures adopted in light of the coronavirus and they should be completed before the end of this year, she told Bahrain News Agency (BNA).
Dr. Al Jalahma pointed out that the number of health care facilities registered until 2019 reached 746, an increase of 4%, attributed to the increase in the number of medical centers, while the total number of hospitals decreased to 19 compared to 21 in 2018 due to a change in the categorization of two hospitals to medical centers.
She said that the Health Facilities Regulatory Department has issued 81 new licenses and renewed 657 licenses for existing facilities, in addition to carrying out 943 inspection visits, an increase of 35% over last year, resulting in the identification and correction of 1,599 irregularities, including 455 violations related to the safety of the facility.
The Clinical Research Unit received four requests for clinical research with half of them conducted in the government sector. They included the adoption of clinical research related to a drug useful in treating Sickle disease fits. The largest clinical trial in Bahrain is the coronavirus vaccine trials that were carried out at the highest level, she added.
The Pharmaceutical Products Regulatory Department has renewed the license for 518 pharmaceutical products and received 284 requests for new products registration. The department also passed 9,053 invoices using the DUR system, while the department passed 1,550 invoices manually.
Dr. Al Jalahma said that 41 new pharmacies were licensed in 2019, including seven in health institutions and 34 as private pharmacies, reflecting an increase of 17% over 2018. The total number of licensed pharmacies in Bahrain reached 307, including 235 private pharmacies and 72 work within health institutions.
The department conducted 731 inspection visits that contributed to the detection and correction of 962 violations, 38% of which were drug related and 16% heat and humidity related. The 22% increase in the number of visits is linked mainly with hiring additional pharmacy inspectors.
Dr. Al Jalahma said that NHRA noted a 13% increase in cases of complaints submitted to the Medical Complaints Unit.
The unit received 257 complaints, including 167 from individuals, 33 from healthcare facilities, and 57 from judicial authorities.
She said that 42% of the complaints were related to doctors, 44% to health institutions, and the rest to allied health professions, nursing and pharmacies. Investigations revealed there was no professional or ethical violation in 39% of the complaints and cases.
Technical investigation committees were able to complete the investigation of 177 cases during 2019, which represents an increase of 53% over the previous year. The disciplinary committees issued 37 disciplinary measures, including 10 cases of license suspension, 18 warnings, and the revocation of a professional license.