New grading system for health facilities in Bahrain to prevent medical negligence

Bahrain health authorities are working on the National Electronic Medical Records which will unify systems at government and private health facilities

Image used for illustrative purpose. Male doctor standing looking out hospital window.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Male doctor standing looking out hospital window.


Bahrain's government hospitals and health centres will come under a grading system from next year as part of efforts to revamp the medical sector and prevent cases of medical negligence.

This comes as health authorities are working on the National Electronic Medical Records which will unify systems at government and private health facilities through a National Health Data Dictionary and the National Centre for Health and Knowledge (Hekma) – which is the health transaction system covering the flow between regulators, provider and suppliers.


Bahrain has just started testing the National Health Insurance Scheme (Sehati) – which allows Bahrainis to seek certain medical services for free at government-owned facilities – with bidders being invited for a consultancy firm that would run the programme.

The aim of the entire exercise is to raise the level of health services being offered in Bahrain to allow people the best choice possible, according to National Health Regulatory Authority (NHRA) chief executive Dr Mariam Al Jalahma.

“We have already introduced the grading system for private medical facilities and have just recently completed the line-up with the BDF Hospital and King Hamad University Hospital, with both getting the platinum distinction,” she said as she addressed a Press conference at the Grove Hotel and Conference Centre in Amwaj yesterday.

“It doesn’t mean we are targeting only private medical providers because people are paying for their services; as a regulator we have a responsibility to grade all medical facilities including the government ones.

“We will start next year with health centres as it is much easier due to assessment accessibility and then we will move on to Salmaniya Medical Complex which has huge departments and has just seen a new board appointment before we also address the Jidhafs Maternity Hospital whenever it reopens.

“The grades will be reviewed every three years.”

Dr Al Jalahma was speaking as Bahrain is set to host the first Bahrain Health Regulatory Conference, organised by the NHRA, that will explore the regional and global health regulation schemes focusing on safe and high quality health services.

The three-day forum, ‘Safe and High Quality Health Services’, from November 28 to 30 at the Gulf Hotel Bahrain, is being held under the patronage of Supreme Council for Health chairman Lieutenant General Dr Shaikh Mohammed bin Abdulla Al Khalifa.

“The new grading system, the new databases and improved health regulations that we will explore next month will all help reduce medical errors,” said Dr Al Jalahma.

“It is an attempt to improve Bahrain’s medical sector. Human error is expected in every country; there is no place where there are zero cases.

“However, 50 per cent of the complaints we receive are genuine while the rest are not related to negligence or medical errors.

“And the medical errors occur because proper policies and procedures are not followed.

“That is why we are working on alternative punishments for cases where errors of judgement have occurred. In such cases the medical personnel concerned will undergo further training in co-operation with the Bahrain Medical Society.”

The conference aims to attract key healthcare professionals from Bahrain and the GCC region and beyond who play a significant role in the regulation of the healthcare sector.

They include government healthcare decision-makers, health reform and health regulation experts, pharmaceutical and drug company owners, public and private healthcare providers, investors and interested experts in healthcare business and technology experts and solutions providers.

Partnering the NHRA are Education Plus and Promed in collaboration with PowerUp and Perfect Solutions Advertising.

The forum is expected to gather 150 healthcare providers, pharmaceutical industries, healthcare organisations, medical educators and accreditation standard experts from across the world, who will share insights on implementing and managing health regulations as registration continues.


An exhibition besides specialised workshops are also set for the event.

“The organisation of such event aims to make Bahrain a hub for medical tourism and for that we have decided to focus on health regulations as the country opens up for pharmaceutical factories, addiction and injury treatment and rehabilitation centres, IVF clinics and other new services generally in the field,” said Dr Al Jalahma.

NHRA scientific committee head Dr Azhar Naseeb said the conference is intended to answer clearly all questions on regulations and procedures as the systems are updated.

“All medical staff from Bahrain participating in the conference will be accredited with 30 training hours.”

NHRA medical consultant Dr Hessa Al Dosari said 14 scientific papers were planned for the event.

Registrations for the conference can be made online at

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