MSF closed its projects in Bahrain in 2012.

Activities  2012 International Activity Report


Despite authorities’ efforts at reforms, recommended by the Bahrain Independent Commission of Inquiry after the violence of 2011, many people are still not seeking medical care in public hospitals.

The healthcare system in Bahrain is of excellent quality, but it is still grappling with the consequences of being caught up in political unrest. Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) had sought to assist people unable to access medical attention, but its first aid post was closed in July 2011.

An MSF team remained in the country until March 2012, aware that hundreds of people were still not going to public hospitals for treatment. In March, staff members were refused entry to the country, and activities had to be suspended.

Hoping to return to Bahrain, staff worked from Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates, submitting proposals for activities to the Bahraini Ministry of Health. These included providing technical support in emergency preparedness and mental healthcare, as well as accompanying patients to health facilities to ensure that they and staff act in compliance with universally recognised medical ethics.

In May, MSF held a mental health workshop in Dubai, attended by medical professionals from the Bahraini government and opposition. MSF personnel were allowed into the country from June 2012, but negotiations to launch activities failed. MSF’s principal concerns are comprehensive mental healthcare and patients’ access to services.

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At the end of 2012, MSF had 1 staff in Bahrain. MSF started working in the country in 2011.