Medical complaints procedure

In our continued efforts to improve health care services in Dubai, the Medical Complaints Procedure allows us to handle your medical complaints openly, promptly and properly.

What defines a medical complaint?

A medical complaint is any written or spoken expression by the complaint of dissatisfaction with a healthcare service in the Emirate of Dubai. The complaint should be purely medical and not administrative matters. Any such complaint is taken very seriously and treated with the appropriate health professional attention and discretion.

Who can file a medical complaint?

A medical complaint can be filed by a patient affected by the actions of a healthcare providers or the service received within a health facility. A family member can also file a medical complaint or someone acting on behalf of the patient (provided they have a power of attorney). In case the patient in question is dead or in a coma, their next of kin can file a complaint on their behalf. If the patient is a minor(less than 21 years old), legally represented can file the complaint.

Any person who received treatment in Dubai can file a complaint, whether they are residents of the UAE or tourists visiting the UAE.

Can a complaint be filed against a medical health professional or health facility anywhere in the UAE?

This Medical Complaints Procedure is for complaints against medical health professionals and medical facilities located in Dubai and licensed by DHA. Complaints about health professionals or facilities located in free zones, which include facilities in Dubai Healthcare City (DHCC), Jebel Ali Free zone Authority (JAFZA), and Ministry of Health (MOH) and outside of Dubai will not be reviewed.

How to file a complaint against a medical health professional?

A complaint can be filed by filling the Medical Complaints form online that include all the requirement on the below website:

https://mc.dha.gov.ae

What is the process of filing a medical complaint?

The Medical Complaint Procedure aims to simplify the process of filing a medical complaint. Fill up the Medical Complaint Procedure online by answering a set of questions. Please note that the complaint will not be filed until the full form is filled and submitted.

While filling up the complaint form, please make sure to highlight the following concerns:

Explain & be specific on what the medical complaint is about.

Name of professionals and health care facilities involved.

What are the rights and responsibilities for the patient in Dubai?

Complainant’s Rights :

  • • To have your complaint dealt with the utmost confidentiality, honesty and transparency.
  • • To know the status of your complaint.
  • • To be provided with the contact number of the responsible staff handling your complaint.
  • • To request for a meeting with Medical Complaints Section in the Sector.
  • • To be provided with a letter confirming the receipt of your complaint by Medical Complaints Section.
  • • To add documents or withdraw his complaints before final decision from medical liability committee
  • • To be provided with a letter stating the outcome of the investigation once the case investigation is completed as per DHA policy and procedures.
  • • To appeal the decision of medical liability committee

Complaint’s Responsibilities:

  • • To submit a complaint through the electronic system
  • • Complaint should be written in Arabic , and to provide a translation if it was written in any other language
  • • To provide all required documents and documents such as (ID - photo of passport - Medical Reports - Photos (if any)
  • • To provide the section with accurate and up to date contact information (telephone, email and address) to MC_HRS@dha.gov.ae
  • • To cooperate with DHA Medical Complaints Section, provide, and explain all relevant information including ID - photo of passport - Medical Reports - Photos to complete the investigation.
  • • To respond to the Medical Complaints Section inquires and meetings.
  • • Understand the Medical Complaints Section role, which does not include compensation (financial or other) or interference with current patient treatment.
  • • I certify that no person shall have access to the proceedings of the complaint without the existence of official papers proving his right to do so.
  • • I authorize the Medical Complaints Section in Dubai Health Authority to review any information about me from my medical records from all health facilities, take pictures of them, and present this information to the internal or external committees if necessary.
  • • No complaints shall be accepted after 3 years from the date of known harm.
  • • If the complainant fails to respond to the Medical Investigation Section contact by phone or e-mail noted in their application, the complaint will be closed within 5 working days
  • • The Medical Complaints Section reserves the right to close the complaint where the complainant fails to respect and acknowledge DHA staff, members of the investigation enquiry or committee.
  • • The Medical Complaints Section shall not:
    • o Compensate the patient financially or by any type of compensation
    • o Intervene with the current treatment (only previous treatments shall be considered)

What happens after filing the complaint?

After submitting a complaint:

  • • An email will be sent to inform the complainant that the complaint was successfully received.
  • • Collecting the necessary information on the complaint
  • • Reviewing medical records from the health facility
  • • Review the case by the Medical liability Committee and the issuance of reports (one of the parties to the complaint may be interviewed or seek the opinion of a doctor or forming investigation committee)
  • • Issuing the report by the Medical liability Committee, whether there is a medical error or not
  • • The decision of the Medical Liability Committee may be appealed within 30 days from the date the parties are notified of the result
  • • In the event of a grievance filed by one of the parties, the case will be transferred to the Higher Committee of Medical Liability to study it, and issue the final report.
  • • All medical complaints procedures are based on:
    • • Cabinet Resolution No. (6) of 2012 regarding the higher Committee for Medical Liability
    • • Cabinet Decision no. (40) of 2019 concerning UAE Federal Law concerning Medical Liability
    • • UAE Federal Law no. (4) of 2016 concerning Medical Liability
    • • Decree of the Executive Council no. (32) of 2012 concerning the regulation of practicing health professions in the Emirate of Dubai

How long does it take to resolve a medical complaint?

Medical Complaints Section deals carefully with the patient and health care providers included in the complaint, the period depends on the nature of the complaint and the basis of each case and ranges from 6-9 months or more. Complaints may require extensive and detailed investigation process, to ensure that all parties benefit for the best results.

The Medical Complaints section will update all the parties of the complaint regularly.

After all investigation procedures are completed, the result will be sent to both parties of the complaint.

What is malpractice?

Malpractice is an error that occurs due to the following reasons

  • • Ignorance or unfamiliarity of the practitioner with the technical aspects, which each practitioner assumed to be familiar with
  • • Failure to follow familiar professional and medical standards and guidelines
  • • Paying insufficient efforts (failure to provide duty of care)
  • • Negligence (recklessness)

Medical error shall be considered major if it causes death of the patient or fetus, removal of an organ by mistake, loss of organ function, or any other serious harm, in addition to the availability of one of the following criteria for which medical error is due:

  • A. Serious ignorance of the recognized medical principles according to the qualification and specialty of the profession practitioner.
  • B. A medically unrecognized method/procedure.
  • C. Unjustified deviation from medical principles and rules in the practice of the profession.
  • D. The physician is drunk, or under the influence of alcohol or anesthesia or psychotropic medicines.
  • E. Profound negligence or apparent lack of foresight in conducting recognized medical procedures, such as leaving medical equipment in the patient's body, giving him an overdose of medicine, not operating a medical device during or after surgery, resuscitation, or childbirth, or not giving the patient medically appropriate medicine or any other action considered as extreme neglect.
  • F. Practicing the profession intentionally outside the scope of specialization or clinical privileges provided to the doctor under the license granted to him.
  • G. The physician use of diagnostic or therapeutic means, without having previously conducted or trained on, without medical supervision.

Where to get more advice and help?

If you need further assistance or would like to know more, please contact DHA on the toll free number 800DHA or email to MC_HRS@dha.gov.ae

Alternatively, you can visit medical complaints section – health regulation sector on :

Dubai Festival city – office tower- Floor 26

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