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MENAFN - Arab News - 20/11/2012

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(MENAFN - Arab News) There's a notable quietness inside the corridors of Dr. Erfan and Bagedo General Hospital following the Ministry of Health's decision to suspend service.

The decision to shut down the hospital came after the eight-year old son of a prominent businessman died due to a medical error during surgery.

The fatal mistake was one of a series of errors reported at the hospital. The Ministry of Health said the hospital would remain closed "until it regulates its medical and technical functions in accordance with medical standards."

More than 3,000 employees, the majority of whom are Saudi, now wait while the Shariya Medical Commission decides on their future.

An Arab News reporter was welcomed at the gates of the hospital by a staff member. He wore a smile yet his manner was one of shock and optimism. He expressed his feelings about the decision using a Qur'anic verse: "You may dislike a thing while it is good for you and you may love a thing while it is evil for you."

"I'm worried about my job but maybe this is the start of ending the hospital's recent carelessness," he said.

The hospital recently ran into trouble with Al-Tawuniya insurance company with alleged disputes over contract terms.

There are notices to visitors posted all around the hospital telling them to collect their medical files from the medical records department.
The hospital is undergoing the transfer of patients to other hospitals and will be accountable to pay for expenses incurred.

The recent negative publicity and blow to the hospital's reputation are further supported by comments made by patients and the hospitals own employees.

The relative of a patient, Abdullah (not his real name) said he brought his mother to the hospital with a simple flu, but a wrong diagnosis led to her being admitted to the intensive care unit. She died shortly afterward.
Arab News learned of three other cases where people died from medical errors.

The decision to close the hospital warranted a Twitter hashtag where tweeters welcomed the decision but described it as "late." The tweeters wonder how such a hospital could collect international licenses such as ISO, MRQP, JCIA and CBAHI?

The hospital website claims it was selected as one medical facility to be on stand-by to provide emergency service to the US president and his staff during the president's visit to the region during the 1990 Gulf War. The hospital was subsequently granted a certificate of thanks from the White House.


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