Hargeisa Group Hospital (HGH) is the National hospital in the Republic of Somaliland and also the teaching hospital for medical universities in Hargeisa. It is the largest hospital in Hargeisa where many patients visit to seek medical attention.

The hospital’s capacity to deliver medical services is critically low due to the limited number of qualified medical practitioners and the lack of life-saving equipment.

Following the trend in other countries, there has been a veritable explosion of medical negligence cases in the past months in Somaliland and the main referral hospital in Hargeisa. Yesterday and in the past two months, three patients have lost their lives due to lack of oxygen and medical negligence.

The whopping number of claim cases filed against Hargeisa Group Hospital is a major headache for the authorities now. Reports suggest that these allegations have increased by leaps and bounds over the past few months.

Today some of the top directors from Hargeisa Hospital have expressed their concerns about the falling standards of group hospital health care. A prominent weakness of the Hargeisa Group Hospital health care system is the absence any regulatory body on medical mistakes and equipment importation and utilization. While disappointing outcomes of treatable diseases are mainly attributing to the poor quality of imported drugs and unqualified medical practitioners.

When a person visits the doctor’s office or the emergency room of a hospital, they are entitled to receive a certain standard of medical care. Unfortunately, the standard of this “medical care” varies greatly and especially between the public and privately owned hospital. In the most extreme incidences, the very hands that are supposing to be helping a patient can ultimately become the cause of their death.

The Ministry of Health has never developed a core health care services package nor assesses the resources and infrastructure needed to deliver them. The Ministry’s main issue is a cumbersome management structure that does not have any oversight on hospitals.

Finally, what is urgently needed is a top-down review of the conditions at public and private hospitals, a comprehensive medical framework that guides medical practitioners in minimizing malpractice and helps our legal system process legitimate claims when patients are hurt.

About the Author 
Mohamed Shueb Ahmed is a healthcare activist and a former member of Hargeisa Group Hospital staff. Mr. Ahmed is the Advocacy and Media manager for Somali Women in Global Health

Disclaimer: The viewpoints expressed by the authors do not necessarily reflect the opinions, viewpoints of Somaliland Chronicle and it’s staff. 

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