Saudi Gazette report
MADINAH — A doctor in a private hospital has admitted to performing 47 circumcision procedures, of which at least seven were botched and the victims had to be admitted to hospital.
A medical source was quoted by Al-Madinah newspaper as saying that the doctor has admitted to performing 47 circumcision procedures. Most of them also suffer from various injuries and require hospitalization.
Dr. Abdullah Al-Taifi, director at Madinah Health Affairs, is closely following the case, the source said. A specialist committee formed to investigate the case was expected to meet in a couple of days, the newspaper said.
In a statement, the Health Directorate has described the actions of the doctor as unethical and unprofessional.
The doctor has been suspended from work and is banned from traveling outside the Kingdom pending completion of investigations.
The botched circumcision procedures have evoked mixed reactions. Some people hold the Health Directorate responsible saying that it could have taken measures after the first mistake was revealed.
The director and the owner of the hospital, several people said, should also shoulder the responsibility. The doctor was seen by some to be the last to be blamed.
Some people have suggested that the doctor should also be punished in the same manner as his mistake, and should also pay blood money to the victims. Others have suggested the ultimate punishment of death for the doctor.
Circumcision procedures were earlier performed by only licensed and specialist persons, with hardly any botched cases coming to light. “It is a simple procedure that does not require a degree in medicine,” some of those interviewed by the newspaper said.
Others blamed a lack of monitoring as the cause of such mishaps, and suggested a 10-year prison sentence for the offending doctor, and SR1 million in compensation to the families of the victims.
Several of the respondents questioned the role of cosmetic surgery in such cases, and said that the Ministry of Health should send the victims abroad for treatment in specialist hospitals.
A citizen, scared after reading reports on the botched surgeries, does not plan to circumcise his three-year-old son soon. “I will wait for another two years and approach a specialist,” he said.
Dr. Husain Sundoqji, head surgeon at the Maternity and Children Hospital, said that the admitted cases varied between ulcers, injuries, and total loss of the sexual organ.
Children with ulcer and injuries will be treated until their conditions stabilize.
Meanwhile, the head of the surgical section at King Fahad Hospital in Madinah, Dr. Ghassan Al-Sisi, stressed that circumcision procedures should only be performed by experienced doctors.
He said that there are many ways to perform circumcision procedures, and the Ministry of Health has banned the use of some medical equipment used for such surgeries. “They may cause harm to the child if the doctor is not proficient in using them,” he said.
He added that a child’s condition should be monitored during the first 24 hours after the circumcision proecdure, and a doctor should be consulted in case of any bleeding or changes in the sexual organ.