Jeddah, Asharq Al-Awsat – The Saudi Health Ministry has announced the closure of the Dr. Erfan & Bagedo General Hospital against the backdrop of repeated medical malpractices over the past three years. The latest medical malpractice resulted in the death of 8-year old Salah al-Din Yousef Abdul-Latif Jameel.
Saudi Health Minister, Dr. Abdullah Abdulaziz Al-Rabea, took the decision to immediately shut down the Dr. Erfan & Bagedo General Hospital for a period of two months following the recommendation of an ad-hoc medical commission set up to look into claims that the private hospital was responsible for the death of a patient. This committee was chaired by head of Jeddah’s medical inspection administration, Dr. Tariq Banjar. The Ministry of Health issued a statement stressing that the hospital would remain closed “until it regulates its medical and technical functions in accordance with medical standards.”
The hospital’s departments are being closed gradually, with patients being transferred to other hospitals at the expense of the Dr. Erfan & Bagedo General Hospital itself. At the time of publication, the majority of the hospital’s departments had been vacated including the outpatient department and the various surgical departments, with the exception of the emergency surgery department which remains functioning.
In this regard, a source, speaking to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity, asserted that the hospital has approximately 110 coma patients whose condition may deteriorate if they are not immediately transferred to other hospitals.
For his part, Assistant Director of Health Affairs for Jeddah province, Dr. Turki al-Sharif, stressed that the Saudi Health Ministry is committed to ensuring the highest health standards and that anybody who violates the statutory procedures face the most stringent punishment.
He added that fatal medical malpractices such as this, due to negligence or carelessness on the part of doctors of health care professionals, are completely unacceptable.
The Dr. Erfan & Bagedo General Hospital was established in 1982, and its website stresses that the hospital is “committed to providing the highest quality Comprehensive HealthCare Services that fulfills the National and International Standards of patient safety goals and meeting our Customers (Community, Patients and their families) needs and expectations.” The hospital website added that “our vision is to be the Health Care Provider of Choice, not only in the Gulf Area, but also in the Middle East, though establishing Centers of Medical Excellence covering the Middle East region.”
As for the hospital’s achievements, it boasts that ‘Dr. Erfan & Bagedo General Hospital was selected as a treatment hospital for U.S. President and his staff to provide medical service in any emergence during their visit to the Gulf region in 1990 and the hospital was granted a certificate of thanks from the White House.”