x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

UAE Ministry of Health warns against bogus doctors

The Ministry of Health has warned the public about unlicensed people posing as doctors.

DUBAI // Fake doctors have been providing medical services in hotels and at homes, the Ministry of Health warned on Sunday.

The unlicensed doctors have claimed they can treat difficult cases or perform plastic surgery, the ministry said in statements published by state news agency Wam.

“Such claims are closer to magic and witchcraft,” said Dr Amin Al Amiri, assistant undersecretary for public health and licensing.

The ministry last week referred to prosecutors a man who allegedly was travelling through the Arabian Gulf region to offer medical services for difficult diseases, said Dr Al Amiri.

Medical malpractices negatively impact public health and could lead to health complications, he said.

“As such, they could also cause health damage to the patient and may lead to dangerous complications that could appear after the disappearance of the anonymous practitioner,” he said.

Those posing as doctors are not carrying medical certificates and conduct medical practices unrelated to their specialisations. They may set up their practices from hotel rooms and then promote their medical services by going to homes, particularly elderly people or recovering patients, Wam said.

Dr Al Amiri added that the problem was not yet a trend but was expected in a country with a multicultural society and economic progress.

“These people look for quick profits in a short period of time and deceive the hopes of patients,” he said.

Federal Law No 2 of 1996 requires medical professionals to provide checkups and examinations in an official health clinic or centre.

Other federal laws regulate medical practices and prohibit unlicensed pharmacists and doctors from practising.

The unlicensed doctors sometimes do not use the most recent safety procedures and use techniques that are not scientifically provided, registered or used in any local, regional or international health authority, Dr Al Amiri said. Federal law prohibits such practices.

“They sometimes use substances of unknown origins and are not registered in the country. They are not taking into consideration the patient’s need or case information,” said Dr Al Amiri. “They also abuse elderly people and chronic-disease patients.”

The ministry and other health authorities have increased efforts against medical violations and malpractice, Wam said. Other practices may include providing misleading medical services in hotels and homes or via medical technology, social media, blogs or websites.

Ministry health inspectors have referred some of these cases to prosecution, according to Wam.

Dr Al Amiri called on people to refer to authorities anyone they suspect of posing as medical professionals.

Health authorities have previously cracked down on unlicensed cosmetic surgery staff, as well as doctors and dentists.

newsdesk@thenational.ae