x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Court upholds Dh500,000 compensation order for closed medical clinic

The Cassation Court upholds a verdict ordering Health Authority-Abu Dhabi to pay Dh500,000 in compensation for 'arbitrarily' closing down a medical clinic in Al Ain.

The Abu Dhabi Cassation Court has upheld a verdict ordering the Health Authority-Abu Dhabi (Haad) to pay Dh500,000 in compensation for "arbitrarily closing down a medical clinic and barring its owner from practising".

Haad ordered the closure of the clinic in Al Ain, which was not referred to by name, after investigating a complaint that a staff member there was not qualified to practice medicine, according to the Arabic-language newspaper Al Ittihad.

Haad inspectors visited the premises and reported that the member of staff was giving patients injections and prostate checks despite being unlicensed to do so. It also claimed the clinic's owner was aware of this. Following the inspection the clinic was closed and its owner barred from practising.

But the court of first instance in Al Ain ruled that Haad did not have sufficient evidence to close the clinic. It said Haad was acting on only the complainant's testimony and the report of its two-member inspection committee. It said this was insufficient to establish the staff member was posing as a doctor, as the inspectors had reported only that the staff member was offering injections.

The owner of the clinic, who was at home at the time of the inspection, filed a case with the Abu Dhabi Cassation Court, demanding Dh2.5 million in compensation for the damage to his reputation and professional standing, for the extended closure of his clinic, which is his only source of income, and for unlawfully denying his licence renewal.

In its verdict, the Cassation Court also considered the moral harm done to the owner and the potential repercussions on his family.

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