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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 22 March 2019

Under the microscope: patients to lodge private health care complaints online in new scheme

The Ministry of Health and Prevention is introducing a new reporting facility for private medical facilities

The UAE's health ministry is setting an online system allowing patients to submit complaints against private medical care providers. AFP  
The UAE's health ministry is setting an online system allowing patients to submit complaints against private medical care providers. AFP  

The UAE's health ministry is to launch a new initiative allowing patients to lodge complaints against private medical care providers online.

The Ministry of Health and Prevention said the scheme is being introduced in an effort to improve transparency in the industry and ensure healthcare providers are made accountable to the public.

The new E-service will give patients across the Emirates the opportunity to submit complaints or observations about private medical facilities and their workforce, including doctors, nurses and technical staff.

The ministry said that it will investigate complaints that are made and impose sanctions if deemed necessary.

Dr Hessa Mubarak, director of the department of health empowerment and compliance at the ministry, said the private medical sector is tightly regulated in the country and subject to regular scrutiny.

“Private medical facilities always undergo a strict and permanent scrutiny, in order to prevent malpractice of unlicensed doctors and to reduce cases of negligence, shortcomings and medical errors, which lead to impose heavy sanctions and fines, that might reach final closure of the facility,” said Dr Mubarak.

Dr Mubarak said that doctors who commit medical errors in the course of their duties face punishment under medical liability law.

The ministry has not announced when the online service will be made available.

The new reporting facility comes after Dubai Health Authority announced it is to set up an online portal to allow patients to rate the care of doctors.

The new online portal - which is expected to go live this month - will also allow users to check the cost of private treatment.

DubaiHealthBooking.com will link to private and government hospitals and clinics to offer patients greater choice and transparency over the quality of service they can expect to receive.

At a Federal National Council meeting held last month, the UAE's health minister said a public database allowing patients to access the career history of doctors could be introduced in the country.

Abdulrahman Al Owais, the Minister of Health and Prevention, told FNC members that discussions on a system allowing the public to access the backgrounds of doctors licensed to practice in the country were under way.

The minister made the admission after council members called for greater transparency in the medical field, to allow patients to make informed decisions over treatment.

Updated: March 7, 2019 03:43 PM

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