DHA will also be increasing the frequency of inspections to the facilities.
The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) has given a deadline of 18 months to one-day surgery centres to obtain international accreditation and will also be increasing the frequency of inspections to the facilities.
In a press conference held on Tuesday, officials said that the authority takes all complaints very seriously and holds complete and transparent investigations into all cases.
In Dubai, the current ratio of complaint cases is at 1.39 per 10,000 admissions.
The announcement came as the authority has launched investigations into two complaints filed last week. As reported by Khaleej Times earlier an Emirati woman is in a comatose state after a cosmetic surgery allegedly went wrong.
In another case, a complaint has also been lodged by the husband of an Indian woman who died during a hip replacement surgery last week.
“Initial investigations have shown a failure to follow proper procedures by the doctors responsible for the situation and the centre’s equipment,” said Dr Marwan Al Mulla, CEO of Health Regulation Sector while speaking of the Emirati woman’s case.
“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,” he said.
“Investigations are also currently ongoing in the case of the Indian woman. 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,” he added.
One-day surgery centres
Currently there are 50 one-day surgery centres in Dubai. “We will add more requirements and procedures related to patient safety in the coming days,” said Humaid Al Qatami, Director General of the authority.
The list of approved international accredited bodies is available will soon be issued to all centres via a circular.
“If a day surgery centre does not get the needed accreditation within 18 months from the date of the circular, it will automatically get downgraded to a clinic. This means that they will no longer be allowed to perform any day surgeries. Centres that are established in the future also have 18 months from the date of the license,” said Al Qatami.
Dr Marwan said, “We are also going to increase the frequency of inspections to health centres and are also pushing them to obtain international accreditation.”
The complaints filed are assigned to committees and are independently investigated with subject matter experts. Each investigation and the impending result can take between six to 12 months.
“The time taken to resolve a complaint also depends on the urgency of the case,” said Dr Marwan. “All urgent cases are fast-tracked and, again, the time taken depends on the nature of the case,” he said.
In 2018, after investigations, 26 cases were found including those of medical negligence and/or malpractice and ranged from minor to major cases.
“In the medical field, globally, medical errors do arise due to the nature of the profession and while there is no immunity from medical error the aim is to minimize it to the absolute extent possible,” said Dr Marwan.
In cases of where medical negligence/malpractice has been found, the license of the medical facility or practitioner is suspended while the monetary fines are decided by the courts.
What is an international accreditation?
Healthcare and hospital accreditation is about improving how care is delivered to patients and the quality of the care they receive. Accreditation has been defined as “A self-assessment and external peer assessment process used by health care organisations to accurately assess their level of performance in relation to established standards and to implement ways to continuously improve.”
Health facilities in numbers
3,371 health facilities in Dubai, out of which :
> 37 hospitals (97 per cent have international accreditation)
> 50 one-day surgery centres covering different specialties
> 81 homecare centres
> 935 pharmacies
> 84 labs
> 1,212 outpatient clinics
> 972 other (for example rehabilitation centres etc..)
Health facilities witnessed an increase of around 35 per cent in the last four years (from 2,775 health facilities to 3,371 facilities)
39,000 licensed health professionals (38,981), out of which, 10,556 are doctors
Surgeries in Dubai
> Number of surgeries in government hospitals: 33,890 (includes major and minor surgeries)
> Number of surgeries in private hospitals: 89,656 (includes major and minor surgeries)
> 337,000 medical tourists in 2018
> 33% from Arab and GCC countries
> 30 % are from Asian countries
> 16 % are from European countries
> 600 medical tourism packages are offered on the dxh.ae