Patient safety is a top priority, says Dubai Health Authority

Dubai: All day surgery centers must get international accreditation within 18 months, the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) ruled Tuesday.

The directive came after a 24-year-old Emirati woman slipped into a coma following a routine procedure carried out at a cosmetic surgery clinic in Dubai, as reported by Gulf News on May 9.

The woman underwent a Septoplasty to correct a deviated septum performed by the clinic’s leading plastic surgeon on April 23.

On Tuesday, Humaid Al Qutami, director-general of the DHA extended deep sympathy to the Emirati woman’s family, while he was speaking at a press conference. He added that patient safety was a top priority, no harm would be tolerated and that due process would now be followed.

Elaborating on the new directive, Al Qutami, said that before this, it was only obligatory for hospitals to have international accreditation, a list of which is provided on the DHA website, but now even day surgery centres would have to mandatorily fulfill this requirement.

Nearly 97 percent of Dubai hospitals, both private and government, are already internationally accredited, but in the case of day surgery centres accreditation has been voluntary up until now.

Dr. Marwan Al Abdulla, Head of health regulations at the DHA, also expressed his support and sympathy to the family of the Emirati woman who is in a coma. Al Mulla said, “Initial investigations have shown a failure to follow proper procedures by the doctors responsible for the situation and the center’s equipment. We feel the pain of the family members. All necessary precautionary measures were promptly taken after initial investigations; we will take stringent action as soon as the investigations are completed. Medical errors will not pass without deterrent accountability.”

Investigations are on

Meanwhile, the DHA official said investigations into the death of an Indian woman who died during a hip replacement surgery at a private hospital in Dubai on May 9 had begun. Betty Fernandes, 42, who had a congenital hip issue, died during surgery on May 9.

Al Mulla said: “Investigations are also currently ongoing in this case and our thoughts and prayers are with the family members. We will investigate this case as per the protocols and we need to wait to know the results of the preliminary investigations. If there is any medical malpractice found, there will most certainly be deterrent accountability.”

Commenting on the investigative procedure, Al Mulla told Gulf News: “The health regulation sector has several procedures and various committees (technical, medical and peer committees) to inquire into any complaint made. We will ensure a fair and transparent process in the investigation which usually takes about three to 12 months. However, if required we will fast track the investigation in a particular case.”

Al Abdulla, however, cautioned it was not appropriate to indict a hospital or doctor and publish their names before completion of the investigation as it set a bad precedent.

Ref: Gulf News

Published:  May 14, 2019 

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