Death of sick persons at Health Care Institutions require reflections, responsibility and accountability

The Albanian Helsinki Committee and the “Together for Life” association first of all extend sincere condolences to the spouse, family members and relatives of the pregnant woman A.Ç., who died tragically in the “Koço Gliozheni” maternity hospital in Tirana.The prosecutor’s office began criminal prosecution immediately on the case as the body responsible for carrying out investigations and clarifying the circumstances in which the incident occurred as well as the cause of death.

AHC and “Together for Life” consider this a very painful case and suggest to the prosecutor’s office to carry out a fast, comprehensive and objective investigation.

We also deem as hasty the statement of the Order of Doctors, which considers the detention of the doctors extreme and emotional. We recall that it is within the competence of the prosecutor’s office and the court respectively that, when seen appropriate, in keeping with the Criminal Procedure Code, to order the detention and impose a security measure upon any person suspected of committing a criminal offense.

Stemming from this case, as well as other previous instances in which carelessness, delay in the provision of health care services, the lack of medicaments and medical equipment, AHC and “Together for Life” call upon the leading officials of public health care institutions and the medical personnel to demonstrate special care, especially in the case of emergencies, whereby the life of sick persons is at risk. The carrying out of the doctor’s duty is as legal and responsible as it is human.

It is appropriate to mention that precisely yesterday, media informed about the death of citizen F.H., detained at the Divjakë Commissariat and sent urgently to the Tirana University Hospital Center, and, according to competent doctors, following a heart attack at the mentioned police commissariat, passed away. We deem it necessary to mention that the family members of citizen F.H. have claimed that medicaments were given late to their sick relative who was in the Divjakë police commissariat. Another citizen sentence for drug trafficking, A.A., passed away yesterday in the cardiology ICU of the TUHC.

Lastly, AHC and “Together for Life” underscore that any complaint of sick persons and their family members, with regard to failure to provide health care services in a timely manner, with high quality and professionalism, as well as about the lack of necessary medical infrastructure, especially when these complaints follow serious incidents such as those that have taken place recently, call not only for a full and enhanced investigation by the Prosecutor’s Office, but also for reflection on the part of authorities responsible for public health care services, for responsibility and accountability, and for the taking of measures to address and resolve identified problems in order for such cases to not recur in the future.

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