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JEDDAH — AUG 23: The Court of Grievances has ordered a doctor, whose medical mistakes led to the death of a patient at a private hospital in Madinah, to pay SR100,000 in blood money to relatives of the deceased.

According to Dr Sahal Salama, director-general of Health Affairs in the holy city of Madinah, the Court of Grievances upheld the findings and decision taken by the Legal Health Commission, which found the doctor guilty of causing the death of a patient. The commission ordered the doctor to pay SR100,000 in blood money to the relatives of the deceased and a further SR5,000 fine to the government.

The commission had, in an earlier decision, absolved a second hospital where the patient was later treated from any responsibility for the death.

In a related development, the Medical Authority in the holy city of Makkah region has fined SR3,000 to an expatriate doctor, who caused the paralysis of a child brought to the hospital following a car accident.

The boy had received spinal cord injuries and at the hospital, his situation became worse. Awad Al Malki, the boy’s father, was reported as saying that he was unhappy with the decision and said he was now lodging a complaint with the Health Ministry. He added that he has been following up on the case for the past three years and that the Medical Authority took the decision based on a testimony given by the doctor rather than investigating his son’s medical reports.

"He spent two months in the hospital and was not paralysed. His condittion then worsened and they didn’t carry out any checkups on him. The hospital also tried to hide the files," the father said. Some time ago it was announced that the health ministry was planning to establish a central databank on medical errors as part of its efforts to control the increasing number of mistakes being made by doctors and paramedics around the country. Health Minister Dr Hamad Al Manie said that the ministry had increased the number of legal medical committees from eight to 14 in order to look into mistakes and take appropriate deterrent action.


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