Three foreign doctors in Dubai were reportedly convicted of medical malpractice and sentenced to one year in jail. Prosecutors in Dubai were not satisfied with the length of the jail sentence and are seeking additional jail time for the three doctors (a Dominican Republic national and two Syrians). The doctors were sentenced on March 18, 2020 by the Dubai Court of Misdemeanours. The hearing date before the Court of Appeals has not yet been scheduled.
The 24-year-old woman had surgery on her nose at an outpatient surgery center to improve her breathing. The investigation determined that the procedure should not have been performed at an outpatient surgical center. The surgical center was forced to close as a result (but has since reopened) and was ordered to pay a Dh300,000 fine.
The surgery was performed on the 24-year-old patient in April 2019 by the 59-year-old Dominican Republic ENT surgeon along with the 65-year-old anesthetist and the a 69-year-old anesthetic technician. The doctors allegedly failed to detect a rapid drop in the patient’s blood pressure during the surgery, which led to cardiac arrest and brain damage. The anesthesiologist also allegedly stepped out for a cup of coffee and a smoke when the complications took place, according to the Dubai Health Authority (DHA). The woman lapsed into a coma. She lost her eyesight and hearing as a result, and is totally dependent on others for 24-hour-care.
The Higher Committee for Medical Liability in the UAE investigated and released its final report in November 2019, finding that all three doctors were guilty of medical negligence. Only one of the doctors showed up for the hearing at which time he denied the charges.
The Dubai Health Authority (DHA) suspended the medical licenses of the three doctors. They were ordered to pay Dh51,000 in temporary compensation and were ordered to be deported after completing their jail sentences.
The Dubai public prosecution appealed the judgment per the instructions from Counselor Essam Essa Al Humaidan, Dubai Attorney-General, seeking stiffer penalties against the three doctors.
Isa Bin Haider, Founder and CEO of Bin Haider Advocates and Legal Consultants, stated; “There was a lack of professionalism shown by the anesthesiologist and his assistant during and after the procedure, especially when the patient’s heart stopped beating, and the actions of the anesthesiologist and his assistant did not reflect the gravity of the patient’s situation. Our firm will be pursuing this case as strongly as possible due to our legal, human and ethical obligations to ensure that this level of medical malpractice never occurs again.”
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