Thursday, April 12, 2012

Vote for the Honorable Doctors

Tomorrow the Medical Society will witness the first elections after the failed coup of Feb14 in 2011. I urge all loyalists and honorable doctors to choose the Doctors of "List of Loyalty to the Profession" as follows: 

1. Dr. Maha Al-Muqla
2. Dr. Mohamed Al-Sowaidi
3. Dr. Ghada Al-Qasem
4. Dr. Mohamed Al-Nofaiai
5. Dr. Mohamed Khalid 
6. Dr. Jenan Al-Harith
7. Dr. Sharyan 

The Bahraini people suffered from the criminal doctors were at SMC during the unrest. 

We don't want again to repeat the same drama. 

We don't want again Salmaniya Medical Complex to be in SIEGE! 


The last couple of months at Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) have been quite dramatic. It was not a hospital but rather a political staging and propaganda ground where we had to work in an unsafe environment and silently witness this carnage of humanity and the medical profession. 

It all started during mid-February when the police had fired teargas to disperse the so called “Peaceful Protesters”. I was summoned to the hospital prior to my shift as a disaster was announced and to my surprise the complete are in front of the emergeny and its car park were occupied by angry protesters. Fearing my safety and not knowing what to do I condulted my seniors and having parked my car a couple of kilometers away from the hospital I managed to sneak inside with a group of doctors from one of the back entrances. This was the general atmoshphere during the initial event.

As things settled down over the course of the next few days I was getting a better idea of what was 
going on. The hospital was in siege and was not a place of treatment but rather a strategic stronghold of these people. Tents were set up all over the car park and were used for various purposes such as:
1. Displaying empty tear gas canister.
2. Distributing food and tea (Sponsored by whom?)
3. Issuing media passes to certain reporters
4. Displaying handicrafts of the pearl roundabout and life sized graves
5. Media Centre with loud speakers and large screen multimedia projectors with satellite TV.


The area around the accident and emergency had a lot of posters and hate graffiti with disrespectful messages such as “Down Down Hamad”. The place resembled the streets of a third world country during election time and it was quite surprising that although a lot of us felt humiliated with what was going on, none of us had the courage to remove any of this stuff during the entire month for fear of our safety. 

The so called clerics would frequently give speeches and during the rest of the time we had our Iranian neighbors conveying their messages via the multimedia projectors. These clerics would also tour the hospital and visit patients and doctors alike.

The security personnel were not an issue and that’s because there were none! On normal days we had a few policemen stationed at our emergency but with the arrival of the protesters these guys had vanished from the hospital fearing their own lives.

The fact that these protesters were still camped at the hospital 24/7 even after the government withdrew all confrontations and were pursuing negotiations gave me an eerie sense of highly organized strategies employed by the protesters. This was hacked by many other factors including one particular conversation that I had with one of the protesters who seemed to be in charge where he told me how had men stationed all around the hospital and that they were to inform him of any police activity nearby. These guys definitely did have a strong hierarchy and a chain of command.

Most of the patients received during these incidents were malingerers who were supported by shia nurses and doctors whereas a handful of them had pellet wounds. Any person who even had a scratch or even less than  that were eligible to be rushed inside the hospital by ambulances and private cars at full speed and to be carried by a handful of other people giving the impression of god knows what.

On the 13th of March I was assigned to triage the patients and none of the patients who passed by me had anything serious and all of them were malingerers. Only one old man had a slight ankle sprain. The rest was simply a stage show where wailing crowds of women in black insulted the King while the patients were dramatically being rushed in.

Treatment of patients was another issue because the ABCs of medicine (Airway, breathing & Circulation) was not practiced. It was more like PABCs where Photography of wounds and propaganda images were given priority. 
Another issue was the activations of Disasters Codes where bypassing all proper channels the arrival of even couple of non-serious patients was enough to activate a disaster! At times the operator would announce on the hospital speakers summoning all doctors from all over the hospital to assemble at the emergency. 

A lot of doctors were unnecessarily in the emergency department treating protesters and issuing press statements besides hampering our own work. On one particular day I was assigned in the resuscitation room (RR) and things were in chaos as doctors and nurses from God know where were inside. The Head of the A&E, Dr. Jassim Mehza was later called in to help bring some order to the chaos and I clearly recall him asking all the doctors and extra staff to leave demanding a max of 4 staff per bed (2 Nurses, 1 Emergency doctor and 1 Surgical doctor) and in spite of this a lot of people refused to leave. Dr Jalila ( A medical consultant) even had the courage to scream and insult at Dr. Jassim Mehza while Dr. Samahiji (An eye doctor) was equally stubborn. Dr. Jassim Mehza was later physically assaulted but the staff and mob while he was exiting the room.

The number of regular patients during these couple of months had diminished as most of the people were afraid to come to this hospital. The atmosphere among our colleagues at the emergency was also gradually changing. I noticed some of them including Dr. Bassem and Dr. Jehad being more vocal with their support of the Antigovernment protesters.    

A lot of propaganda was also spread via facebook and some of the active people included:

1. Dr. Bassem
2. Dr. Dunya Hasmi
3. Dr. Heba
4. Dr. Asfoor
5. A person who goes by the name of “Staff Nurse”

Things started spiraling out of control towards the last few days of their siege when expatriates were targeted and doctors threatened (and filmed by the protesters) for treating Pakistani Patients. It was during that time that I decided that enough and that the conditions were absolutely not safe to work in. Luckily for us the army had regained control over the hospital over the next few days making it a safe enough environment for us to work in. 

All the recent events have revealed the true faces of a lot of doctors and nurses who have violated their oaths and engaged in politics instead and has shown me how the occupation of a country’s main hospital can have a critical and devastating effect. 


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