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Tue 19 Aug 2008 07:12 AM

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Bahrain docs' alert over medical records

Medical officials say patients' lives are being put at risk by incomplete paperwork from private hospitals.

A new crackdown has been ordered by Bahraini health officials on private hospitals and clinics that fail to keep proper records.

Doctors in the country fear patients' lives are being endangered after seeing many emergency patients being referred to Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) in Manama without any diagnostic paperwork or medical records.

Now all private hospitals and clinics have been ordered by the Health Ministry's Licensure Directorate to maintain complete patient records, Gulf Daily News reported on Tuesday.

Emergency doctors often depend on that first diagnosis from the other hospital or clinic, so that they can begin immediate treatment, said sources.

One of the doctors, speaking on condition of anonymity, told the paper they recently had a "walk-in" patient, who was referred from a private hospital after he had chest pains.

"We treated him immediately on what he told us and discovered he was about to have a massive heart attack," he said. "That patient should never have been asked to come to the SMC on his own accord and should have been moved by ambulance."

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