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Bahrain reinstates sacked doctors

Health minister says decision based on court acquittal ruling

Gulf News

Manama: Bahrain’s health ministry is reinstating the doctors acquitted by the country’s courts, the minister has said.

“In implementation of the court ruling, I have instructed the human and financial resources department to contact the doctors who were acquitted by the court and launch procedures to reinstate them,” Sadiq Al Shihabi said.

“The list of the medics to be reinstated includes all doctors who were acquitted by the court. The court ruling is the legal basis for the reinstatement decision. We are following the rules and regulations of the Civil Service Bureau (CSB),” he said in remarks published by local Arabic daily Al Ayam on Tuesday. The CSB oversees the status of all employees in the public sector.

Al Shihabi said that he looked forward to a strong “one-family spirit” within the health community. “This positive spirit must prevail at all health service locations, particularly at the Salmaniya Medical Complex, the largest health institution that serves all citizens and expatriates in the kingdom,” he said.

The 1,200 bed medical complex that receives 900-1,000 patients per day was a focal point of tension, protests and media attention in February and March 2011 when unrest unfolded in Bahrain. Several medics were subsequently arrested and put on trial for their role during the events that occurred in the country; however, the charges were denied by the defendants and their lawyers.

After a series of trials, the health professionals were either acquitted or had their initial sentences reduced. According to a report in local daily Al Wasat, the list of the medical professionals who had been contacted for their reinstatement included Zahra Al Sammak, Fatima Hajji, Ahmad Abdul Aziz Omran Hassan, Najah Khalil, Hassan Mohammad Nasser Al Toblani, and Sayed Marhoon Al Wadai.