More than 150 complaints against Dubai hospitals since January

The Dubai Health Authority receive complaints of malpractice or medical negligence almost on a daily basis.

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DUBAI // There have been more than 150 complaints of malpractice or medical negligence against private and public hospitals in Dubai so far this year.

Dr Layla Al Marzouqi, director of the health regulation department at the Dubai Health Authority, said every complaint was investigated and the DHA also carried out spot inspections to ensure the quality of care.

“It helps the emirate to be a safe place and to improve the quality of care for the patients,” she said.

“To show that hospitals and healthcare centres are inspected regularly and that controls are in place, and if anything went wrong there is a place to go to and report this.”

It was part of the DHA’s goal to be an open and transparent health body, Dr Al Marzouqi said.

“We want to make sure that everyone who comes to Dubai knows where to go in case something goes wrong,” she said. “And the channels of where to go and make a complaint in case something goes wrong are many.”

The DHA received complaints almost on a daily basis, but a majority of them were not medical related. Some were related to not being able to find a parking spot, Dr Al Marzouqi said.

There were also complaints ranging from minor grievances to gross medical failures.

So far this year the DHA has received 155 medical complaints, of which it has accepted 61. No case of malpractice has been established yet.

Last year, the Dubai health body received 472 medical complaints of which the DHA accepted 199. In 23 cases, medical malpractice was proved.

The law defines malpractice as an error occurred because of negligence, insufficient effort, ignorance, or unfamiliarity with technical aspects all practitioners are supposed to be familiar with.

In 2013 there were 579 complaints, of which 169 were admitted and in 44 cases malpractice was established. In 2012, the DHA received 315 medical complaints, of which 127 were admitted and in 37 cases medical malpractice was proved.

Dr Al Marzouqi attributed the rise in number of complaints to the growing population, the increasing number of medical facilities and a greater awareness in the community about the right to complain.

Since 2012 the licences of nine medical professionals have been revoked and six suspended on the grounds of medical malpractice.

Patients who want to report medical malpractice in Abu Dhabi must do so with the Health Authority Abu Dhabi.

Haad did not respond to repeated requests for comments on the number of cases of medical malpractice and negligence in the emirate.