Hospital blunders highlight health system failures

When Fathimath Sudhuna checked into ADK hospital last Friday feeling faint and dizzy, she did not expect it would cause her condition to worsen.

She was asked by a doctor to complete two medical tests: a sugar test and a cholesterol test. Her husband, Ibrahim Shaukath, took her to the hospital pathology for the tests and was asked to wait outside.

“It took a long time for her to come out – I had to ask the nurse why it was taking so long,” Shaukath said.

When she came out he asked her why it had taken so long: she replied that a nurse had given her the wrong injection.

“It was an injection that was supposed to be given to a 15 year old patient,” he said.

Fathimath’s condition deteriorated and she became unable to stand. Shaukath complained that the hospital’s management “did not take it seriously and tried to ignore it, saying it would be ‘all right’.”

”I am not saying this to harm the hospital,” he said. ”I just want to prevent it  from happening to another person.”

Managing Director of ADK Hospital Ahmed Afaal said the incident had been reported and the hospital was investigating. He said he had no information about the patient’s condition worsening after the incident, and was reluctant to speak to the media.

IGMH blunder

A person assisting with a birth at Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) last week told Minivan News on condition of anonymity that surgeons had sewn one of the mother’s veins into her skin after an emergency cesarean to remove the baby.

”[The mother] told the doctors that she felt pain in the sewed area,” the assistant said, ”but the doctors did not care to look, they just said it would be all right.”

Three days later, when the woman removed the dressings on the wound, she discovered a red lump underneath.

”She ran to the hospital counter and yelled at them,” the assistant said. ”They started treating her and she was told the doctors had sewn a vein into her skin and blood was stuck in there.”

Another woman who also asked to remain anonymous told Minivan News that a doctor at IGMH had told her husband that he was a heart patient with a high risk of heart attack, and had treated him as such for two months.

Eventually the family sent him to India for medical treatment, where they found out “he did not have any problem with his heart.”

Yet another woman, who identified herself as Zainab, told Minivan News that her son, who was very weak after an attempted suicide and a motorbike accident, was sent home after a single IV.

”We begged them to keep him until he felt better,” she said, ”but they said he would be all right and told us to leave.”

She claimed that her son could not even walk when he was discharged.

Chief Executive Officer of IGMH Zubair Mohamed confirmed such cases had recently been reported to the hospital management.

”We encourage all our patients to complain at the Health Ministry when they face such problems,” Zubair said.

Zubair said everyday 99 per-cent of the patients left with no complaints.

”Doctors and nurses sometimes makes mistakes,” he said.


20 thoughts on “Hospital blunders highlight health system failures”

  1. It's to be expected.

    Some doctors come here on falsified certificates, and they treat the matter of life and death that is healthcare as a "business".

    Some even treat it as a game.

  2. What do you expect? "when you pay peanuts, you only get monkeys" as doctors and nurse.

  3. When so many are going abroad for treatment (especially those well paid MPs, resort tycoons), isn't that proof enough that the health sector is broken.

    Also health care is should be a major public fiance issue when so much money is spent to foreign hospitals.

    Unless Government comes up with strong regulations, health care would remain just a business to milk MONEY from patients (who are by the way 'customers')

  4. I am not al surprised after reading this article. The incidents mentioned in above are just a minor of what has been happening in the health sector of Maldives, and dont forget worse happens in the atoll and island hospitals where the resources are so less. The whole health system needs to be changed, starting from the Maldives Medical Council (MMC) to hospital complain and incident reporting systems.
    Te MMC needs to know which medical countries medical degrees they can recognise before they bring doctors form here and there to work in Maldives. They need to rule out a guidance to all doctors and nurses so that they work in a 'Good Medical Practice' practice framwork. Ways of clinical excellence and monitoring on clinical staffs need to ensured in health sector. Pay rise is needed for health clinical staffs and non clinical staffs need to be cutt down to generate more patient clinical staff availability to avoid errors in medicla service. Doctors and nurses need more clinical training and updating in there service, like teaching sessions and clinical conferences regarding latest treatment options and medical research. Patient care and ways of good communication with them needs to be improved. Doctors and nurses need to be thought that they are hired not just to e paid, but also to work sincerely and effeciently.

  5. The last quote by Zubair "Zubair said everyday 99 per-cent of the patients left with no complaints.

    ”Doctors and nurses sometimes makes mistakes,” he said."

    Amazing isn't it. I work in the service industry too.. Even i will not say such a thing... There is something called near 100%... 99 is not good enough... He sounds he is happy with the way the Hospital is run .. Get rid of him now... Get a someone who has managed an efficient Hospital... When we dont know how to run it right, we should try and learn from the experienced..

    Amazing Maldives...

  6. What do u expect, this isnt surprising at all.All these low quality and cheap indian doctors and filthy cheap nurses from india this is only to be expected..The government does not have the guts to train maldvian doctors and the salaries are pathetic....

  7. And to Mr inrahim nasir....this is not due to lack guidelines, but this is due to lack qualified doctors and nurses...lack of qualified administrators and the pathetic small salaries which they pay to doctors.

  8. you could get top rate 100% professional nurses and doctors to come to Maldives from western countries if offered short placements. would work for less money because they would like to see maldives for a holiday. especially when europe is in winter and very cold.

  9. Appalling! I wonder what the condition would be when Apollo takes over and starts paying nurses and doctors even less than they are being paid now.

  10. I totally agree with Ibrahim Yasir. He has made several very important points in his comment. Sadly, I do not see any changes in the health sector in the near future.

  11. All of this comes down to how much trust is given to the doctors. I am quiet skeptical.

    If you knew that the doctors and nurses treat you different when they know you're unaware or not so educated. And those translators (or whoever they are) think they are in it for something else.

    I've had a bad experience in ADK. Just don't trust them nurses and doctors either. Be skeptical - negative - check and recheck. Double check on the medicines. Google them. Consult another doctor. And most of all Educate yourself. The whole country is ignorant.

    Talking about that, something is wrong with this country. It's off balance, and not only for Hospitals. The place is breeding idiots day in and day out.

  12. The so called mistakes as claimed in this article seems to me are bizzare. Specially the on ewho said her husband has been treated for a heart condition and in Indai he was told his heart is okay. So did the reporter ask whether his symptoms have gone or not? This article lacks convincing evidendence that any of those claims can be substantiated. Madlivians have a funy way of thinking about their own health. If they are told some thing in India thats all true. We have seen people's lives been ruined when they go abraod specially to some of the Indain hospitals and clinics. Of course people get better as well when they seek treatment aborad.

    Zubair is right. Majority of people leave hospital satisifed. There is no place in the world where incidents don't happen, some minor and some fatal and Maldives is no exception.

    The standard of care doctors and Nurses offer with the limited diagnostic and therapeutic facilites available in Maldives, specially at IGMH, I must say is commendable. Far better than some of the UK hospitals such as Staffordshire NHS foundation Trust.

    What the public need to do is put more pressure on the the failing MDP government to do more in improving healthcare, not lash at doctors and nurses.

  13. this is all because of years and years of mis management and lack of awareness in the public.

  14. I totally agre with comments from 'Wolf' and 'Ahmed Abdulla'.

    With limited resources, medicos and para medicals are trying their best. Diagnosis may vary from person to person or hospital to hospital but depending on the available diagnostic facility and the paying capacity of patient and also salary of the doctor.

    The standards vary with treating poor to treating rich. If the treatment of govt to the common man is not good, and also the doctors have paid less and this is what would be the future with chaos in health sector.

    All should be treat equally and common man should get medical benefits. The health care professionals should be treated what they are worth. If a medical officers salary is equal to radiologist or translator, what could we expect from the doctors?..

  15. Is there any data maintained on medical malpractice. How could the regulator ignore such things. No survey is ever done.

    All (I mean all) my friends who went to ADK encountered some some kind of an unpleasant experience, like injection into skin rather than the vein, taking unnecessary x-rays, giving unnecessary medicine (just to boost the sale of their shop)..


  16. My son was having somach ache last friday and was rushed to Adk. Unfortunantly friday was a off day for all the so called professionals, the docotor took a blood sample and a urine test and confirmed that they suspect it as ependicitis,and said the final conclusion can be make after a whole abdomen scan... I was asked to wait outside till they get a doctor to scan,we wait till 4.00 in the after noon and went to doctors room to ask whereabout of the scan doctor....the reply was simple "We have call him and have send somebody to bring this guy to the hospital" so we went to our home asking them to contact us when they reach the scanning doctor....finally around 5 in the evening i recieved a call from Adk and i rush to the hospital, unfortunantly the duty has changed and a new shift was on duty... i asked the reception where aboutthe doctors prescription and the reply from the counter was that they dont have a patient by the name which was my son.... I request them that i need to talk to some one from office and i told them the whole story.... they said they are lookin the matter seriously.... any way i was happy to get all the reports and went home.... i tried some private clinics for a scan ...but the reply was the same ... it is friday so i did not get a chance. i was desperate and went to home.....finally at 7 in the evening there was a call from adk saying that they have reached the scanning doctor.. i went to hospital with my son and the scan report was positive for appendicitis. I showed the report to a surgon and asked him how serious was it? he said they have to operate him immediatly.... I explained my whole story to the doctor and compained how i have struggle the whole day to get a single scan.So i collect the reports and fly to colmbo 2.00am in the morning and went directly to Appollo hospital and have a successful operation.He is still in colombo recovering.

  17. @ aneh wisnun. while u were desperately running here and there for a scan, did u forgot that there is a tiartiary care hospital named IGMH, where radiologists are on-call 24 hours a day?

  18. Europeans doctors don't want to work in present "democratic"Maldives because it is not safe.crime,humiliation,no respect from hospital management and stupid local regulations and misunderstanding in health sector .so if culture level at present time is so low and professionals foreigners can see terrible situation in Maldives they never will work in if Maldivians elect democracy and loose stability they will enjoy indian stile medicine. Hospitals management take care only about how more money to get from patients but not about respect,correct treatments,and good quality.same will be with education sector too.governmant every day say that billions dollars will be in Maldives soon but we can see temporary shelter for children in Vilingili it is 21 century?it is wild age!if you estimate all money that government [promise to use in Maldives you can understand that every Maldivian can be a millionaire or at least havea hell of money.remember every maldivian 300000 peoples only and every time millions dollars some country send to Maldives for help but some childs dont have even normal you think it is normal?where all those money disappear?in private bank account of politicians that is dont be wonder about collapse of the health is only beginning of future hell.

  19. i think its generous on part of Indian doctors to go to Maldives and offer their services ..Even they r being fooled by the ministry of health.First a very flowery picture is shown which clashes with reality ...see the crime rate and humiliation doctors face there.Moreover everything seems rigid..i am astonished by the comments which Maldivians r using for Indian doctors.They r referring them as cheap and still Indians r serving them


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