Bahrain: Access to healthcare remains a concern despite reforms
Brussels, 12 April 2012 — As Bahrain implements reforms following protests that started last year, a significant number of patients – from all political and religious backgrounds – continue to avoid seeking medical care in public hospitals due to perceived discrimination, harassment, and ill treatment, the international medical humanitarian organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) said today.
The fear among those seeking care remains despite government efforts to implement reforms recommended by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry. In particular, according to information shared with MSF, a sizeable number of people injured during political demonstrations, suffering from mild to severe orthopaedic injuries, skin lacerations and respiratory distress, resort to private healthcare because of fear of arrest in public hospitals.
“The healthcare system in
At the beginning of March, staff members were refused entry into the
“We firmly believe that our organisation can support efforts by
MSF wishes to facilitate dialogue between health professionals in hospitals and other health centres. Furthermore, MSF is prepared to accompany patients to appropriate health facilities to verify that staff, patients and security personnel are acting in compliance with universally recognised medical ethics and humanitarian principles. MSF also proposes technical support in emergency preparedness and mental healthcare.
MSF first provided support to victims of violence in
All activities were conducted in accordance with the organisation’s medical humanitarian mandate to provide medical assistance based on the principles of impartiality, neutrality and independence.
Over the past year, several proposals have been submitted to
MSF reiterates its request to be permitted to operate in
MSF was founded in 1971 with the express purpose of assisting people unable to access or receive emergency medical assistance. For the past 40 years, MSF has based its work around the world on the humanitarian principles of neutrality, impartiality and independence, and on the right to humanitarian assistance.