Hospital, Medical Center Closed After Warning

Hospital, Medical Center  Closed After Warning Hospital, Medical Center  Closed After Warning

A private hospital and a surgical center in northern Tehran were both ordered to close for violations. While an ultimatum was issued to the hospital authorities to set right the irregularities within the deadline stipulated, the surgical center’s permit was revoked.

The closures were announced by Morteza Khodaee, director general of Medical Violations Investigation Office at the Tazirat Organization, at a press conference on Tuesday, the Persian-language newspaper ‘Donya-e-Eqtesad’ reported.

Tazirat is a general inspectorate. It is affiliated to the judiciary and ensures that laws are implemented and violators prosecuted. Its responsibilities include overseeing observation of social, cultural, medical and economic rights as well as pursuing contraband and currency smuggling, real estate violations, and economic abuse such as overcharging, fraud and hoarding, among other infringements.

Since the beginning of the current Iranian year in March, five unauthorized medical clinics in beauty, hair and skin and weight loss in the capital were also identified, shut down and their equipment seized, he said.

The hospital (name not revealed) located in the posh Velenjak district had failed to comply with mandatory standards in operation rooms and the wards, Khodaee said. On April 16, a written warning was issued, but the hospital officials failed to take appropriate measures.

The main reasons cited for the hospital closure were lack of permanent presence of nurses in different wards of the hospital, shortage of head-nurses and lack of 24/7 anesthesia services.

“Our priority is to fix the problems by issuing warning notices to hospitals instead of simply closing them, since at present the country is grappling with a shortage of hospital beds.”

There are 95,000 hospital beds or 1.7 beds per 100,000 people in the country. “In order to reach a better standard, like 2.8 hospital-beds per 100,000 people as in neighboring Turkey, we need to add 100,000 more beds. Also according to official figures, 60% of the existing hospital beds are dilapidated and should be replaced,” Khodaee was quoted as saying.

  Expiry of Permit, No Renewal

The surgical center in Pasdaran Street was ordered to close as its permit had expired and “it didn’t meet the requirements for renewal.”

Pointing to heavy fines imposed earlier this year for other medical violators across the sprawling capital, Khodaee said reusing of disposable equipment (single-use cardiac coil which is used for angiography or radiography of blood or lymph vessels) led to a $5.2 million fine on one hospital in the capital.

Two other hospitals were also fined for overcharging. The hospital pharmacies which were making fat profits through overcharging patients were fined $1.6 million each.

Further, a gynecologist was handed a $1.3 million fine for using a special type of ultrasound machine without permission and performing unnecessary expensive ultrasound imaging of all her patients. The device was also seized by the organization.

Fines were levied on six other medical centers for violations, namely overcharging patients. “Each center was ordered to treat 20 patients from the economically weaker strata, free of charge. All the 120 patients were introduced to the centers by the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee.”

“Such type of punishment is the first of its kind.”