A leading sickle cell campaigner has called for tough laws to protect the country’s healthcare providers.

This follows the assault of two doctors by a sickle cell patient at Salmaniya Medical Complex on Friday.

The GDN reported that health officials announced legal measures against the patient, who reportedly turned violent after a Bahraini doctor refused to administer a morphine injection to alleviate his pain.

Bahrain Sickle Cell Anaemia Patient Care Society chairman Zakreya Al Kadhem condemned the assault.

“Our healthcare providers are Bahrain’s assets, who continue to work throughout this pandemic,” he said.


“There should be a zero tolerance policy when it comes to physically assaulting healthcare providers...it’s just not done.”

Mr Al Kadhem said he knew the Bahraini patient in question, and described him as a repeat offender.

“This guy has a history and on Thursday (a day before the assault) he left the hospital against the medical advice of doctors citing personal reasons,” he said.

“The following day he came back to the SMC in a drowsy state demanding a morphine shot, but when doctors pulled up his records, they found he had already taken the injection eight hours ago.

“The doctor on duty took the right decision by not giving him morphine, because such high doses within a short span of time could result in death.”

Sickle cell patients have in the past been accused of abusing the painkiller drug morphine, which is taken as a substitute for heroin by drug users.

There have also been cases of doctors assaulted by sickle cell patients in the past.

Mr Kadhem alleged that some patients addicted to morphine were being exploited by drug dealers, who use them to get the medications.

“Some doctors are also lenient in administering morphine shots, they don’t follow proper protocols as they don’t want headache from such patients.”

He claimed there were other elements in the society using sickle cell patients to promote their agenda against the Health Ministry.

“Patients get the best healthcare in Bahrain and our doctors need to be respected and protected,” he said.

The GDN earlier reported that a dedicated centre to treat hereditary disorders at SMC was last month turned into a temporary facility to contain Covid-19 cases.

All sickle cell anaemia patients at the Hereditary Blood Disorder Centre were moved to SMC to receive full healthcare services.


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