Where to palace a medical malpractice complaint in Yemen?

medical_malpracticeTo be frank and straight, there is no such clear place to issue a medical malpractice complain in Yemen. And if there is any common people doesn’t know where it is, it’s all in ink and paper only.

There is no one to bring the medical practitioner responsible to justice. In this situation, there is no clear place to issue a complaint. Take the case of Sa’ad Al-Daifi, Zahra’s husband who sells calculators on the streets. He does not understand the complications of his wife’s delivery and why the mother of his children has ended up in a wheel chair for life.

In 2000, the parliament ratified a law to establish a Supreme Medical Council that would define the penalties and punishments for medical malpractice cases, but so far no such council exists. This council’s main job would have been to ensure the quality of medical service in Yemen, in both the public and private sectors.

According to Dr. Abdulbari Al-Doghaish, member of Parliament and the Public Health and Population Committee, common people are totally confused when they have a medical problem. They have the option to go to the general medical issues unit in the Ministry of Health, the parliament, or the Council of Public Health and Population, from there, recommendations might be issued and the complainant has to wait for consequences.

As for Zahra’s determined husband, Sa’ad Al-Daifi, it takes two years to get an approval of a single ticket for Egypt for better treatment, yes a single ticket granted to an invalid woman in wheel chair, when it is well known that his husband have to accompany her and to afford a ticket for himself is not possible.

Complainants often cannot do anything but wait and hope for their medical issues to be addressed: “I felt that I had no choice but to accept what they offer or wait for nothing,” said Al-Daifi.

Quality assurance includes procedures to avoid mistakes and consequences for when they occur. But to date, the law to establish a Supreme Medical Council remains ink on paper.

According to  Baghash Al-Mikhlafi, technical director at the Ministry of Legal Affairs, in practice, there are no laws or regulations that protect patients from malpractice or negligence, it’s depends totally up to the medical institutions how to deal with these issues.

Source: Yemen Times

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