November 4, 2012

A doctor in Dubai who had been found to be responsible for the January, 2012 death of a newborn baby has appealed the decision of an investigative committee of the Clinical Governance Office (“CGO”) of the Dubai Healthcare Authority (“DHA”). An investigative committee formed by the CGO found that medical malpractice had occurred in the management of the case. The doctor whom the CGO investigative committee found to have committed medical malpractice filed an appeal of the committee’s findings with the CGO on September 9, 2012. The investigative committee members consisted of neonatal experts.

The baby died on January 11, 2012, only 48 hours after his birth in a hospital in Abu Hail, Dubai. It was reported that the most probable cause of death was aspiration/cardiorespiratory failure.

The DHA has 25 inspectors who make two rounds of inspections daily of Dubai’s healthcare service providers.


Dubai’s Medical Malpractice Statistics

There were 50 medical malpractice/medical negligence complaints filed with the DHA against private hospitals and an additional 18 complaints filed against public hospitals in Dubai during 2009. In 2010, there were 98 medical malpractice claims against private hospitals and 29 medical malpractice claims against public hospitals in Dubai. During 2011, through the first week of October, there were 108 complaints of medical malpractice filed with DHA (84 medical malpractice claims against private hospitals and 24 medical malpractice claims against public hospitals). Of the 108 medical malpractice claims, 86 were investigated, 27 of the 86 investigations were completed as of the first week of October, 2011, and out of the 27 completed investigations, 10 were confirmed as involving medical malpractice. The medical licenses of 15 doctors were suspended in Dubai in 2011 due to medical malpractice.

The Dubai medical malpractice claims included allegations of surgical complications, inadequate medical treatment that worsened medical conditions, improperly prescribed medications, improper use of injections, and medical malpractice events leading to death.


What Has Contributed To The Recent Rise Of Medical Malpractice Claims In Dubai?

The head of the clinical governance office of the DHA, Dr. Layla Al Marzouqi, attributes the rise in medical malpractice claims to greater awareness in the community concerning the right to complain about possible medical malpractice incidents and the stricter medical licensing policies in Dubai. Dr. Al Marzouqi stated, “We recently adopted a stricter policy for the licensing of healthcare facilities and after we license people we have a very active inspection quality-assurance section.” Dr. Al Marzouqi believes that greater than sixty percent of medical errors are due to poor communication between healthcare professionals, poor communication between those professionals and patients, and poor documentation.


Other than what we have reported above, we have very little knowledge or information regarding medical malpractice incidents or medical malpractice claims in Dubai. We do not know the effectiveness or independence of Dubai’s system of evaluating and resolving medical malpractice claims but we are impressed that the parents’ medical malpractice claim involving the death of their newborn this year was investigated promptly and that the investigative finding that medical malpractice had occurred in that case was completed so quickly.

If you or someone you know may be the victim of medical malpractice in the United States, you should promptly consult with a local medical malpractice attorney who may willing to investigate your possible medical malpractice claim for you.

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