Dec 2, 2011

Kuwait is SEGREGATING Health Care between Citizens and Non-Kuwaitis


Racial Segregation ended decades ago but is coming back now in Kuwait!
As the world fights for providing free health care to everyone regardless of their financial powers, nationalities, races, colors, religions, and/or gender, Kuwait is working now on creating 3 hospitals (with 300-beds-capacity for each) and 15 clinics to take care of 1.5 million expatriates and stateless people in the near future. Parliament members and the government have neglected the discriminatory nature of this project and responded to citizens’ complaints about waiting times when using health services. Many times, Kuwaitis, with the lack of awareness, talked openly that they should not be waiting in ‘their hospitals’ because of the long line ups of expatriates. Thus, parliament members, with their motivation to guarantee more votes to stay in the game box, have passed this scandalous project.

The project aims to build three hospitals with a capacity of 300 beds each and with land area of 50,000 square meters for two and 36,000 square meters for the third. These hospitals will provide integrated medical services even dispensing of some drugs. This will cost 130 KD in the first two years, 150 KD for the third and forth, 170 KD for the fifth and sixth, 180 KD for the seventh and eighth, and 190 KD for the ninth and tenth. This proves that this project is a financial failure for Kuwait as those few centers will not be able to provide 1.5 million people with good health services including surgeries.

Two weeks ago, a lecture entitled “Racist Segregation Hospitals” was held in Kuwait Transparency Society to condemn this project and demand terminating it. The speakers said the project is a shameful mark in Kuwait’s history and is very much a racist project in a country that is known of its civil bodies and establishments. They found it nothing but a commercial project the government offered to companies robbing national funds. Speakers also emphasized that this can be considered, according to international laws, a project of racist segregation. They called on parliament members to be considerate of non-kuwaitis who have rights, as the constitution guarantees quality to all, and to stop this project that will be bad for Kuwait’s reputation internationally.

Columnist Dr. Sajed Al-Abdali wrote about the project and spoke in the lecture saying this project will offer 2 to 6 for each 10,000 non-Kuwaitis. He wondered why isn’t the money of this project injected into reforming health services. Salma Al-Essa, from Kuwait’s association of transparency, assured the racist nature of this project. She also asked why isn’t the report of World Bank regarding this project still not published, if it exists, and added that there are no guarantees that the project will function well especially that it will not be under observation.

Dr. Amer Al-Tamimi from Kuwaiti Human Rights Association said this project is an economical failure as it will cost 130 million Kuwaiti Dinars and this amount of money should not be invested in such a project that will harm Kuwait’s reputation of human rights. Al-Tamimi said: “do not expect this project to offer all services. This will surely not include treatment of psychological problems, kidney failure, treatment of war damages and permanent diseases.”

Fawaz Farhan was the only medic present in the lecture and he said: “it is unfortunate that the medical association is not hosting this project.” Farhan said that racism already exists in hospitals as non-kuwaitis do not get any medicine as citizens do and also because they are paying fees for each visit and tests needed. Farhan also said that racist segregation already exists in some clinics. He described the project saying “They want steal the money of non-kuwaitis to practice racism against them!”

Kuwait is taking a suicidal step by executing this project which has been cooked in the past few years. This will definitely take the country into a serious crisis as 1.5 million people will be forced to use facilities that cannot logically be able to provide them with good health services. Segregating people based on their nationalities can pen the country with the most famous scandals in the new century.

To read the leaked proposal of this project in both Arabic and English, click here and here. Also, you can read the complete document that announced the auction for those interested in investing in this project, click here.

14 comments:

  1. We were recently at Mubarak Hospital in Kuwait and there was a sign on the wall that said "Priority will be given to Kuwaitis". It IS happening.

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  2. That will add more to the suffering of healthcare industry in Kuwait

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  3. bad service at clinics ...
    We pay K.D 52 per-year as health insurance and pay K.D 1.5 as fees for each visit to clinic.

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  4. I'm not going to mention the nationality of people who do this, but there are some who are pushed into the waiting room in WHEEL CHAIRS, groaning in pain, to get priority. I see them happily walking out with their doctor-signed sick leave form in hand while people who need real medical attention watch quietly in disgust.

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  5. there are already segregated lines in some clinics. how sick

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  6. Thanks Mona for sharing the news, and thank god it's happening at last! But, unfortunately, it's too late as my father passed away! I used to take him for his regular heart check up and follow up and used to wait for his turn in a long line of non- kuwaitis! Some of those non-kuwaitis came with some well known current opposition MPs as their "Wasta". 
    But, I'm glad I can take my mother now to governmental clinics and hospitals instead of the expensive privae ones. Way to go Kuwait decision makers who are trying to make Kuwaiti citizes recognized,  respectable citizens in their own beloved  country, Kuwait. 
    P.S comment reposted with some typo corrections.

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  7. Rather than resort to stupid unethical measures like segregating care, why don't they deal with the real issue of reforming their pathetically under financed health care system (I am sure there is enough money if they are willing to waste so much on such a ridiculous scheme) and penalizing doctors who accept wasta patients and wasta givers?! I am sorry to say it is shameful and sad to hear this kind of news. Solve the causes of the problem and the problem will disappear. Don't put a "band aid" as the person above said, or rather in this case a "dirty band aid" to solve the issue!

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  8. To you Ananymous, please reread my post! It's not "a band aid" in fact it's not a solution! It's a thankful comment on the new health decision that has provided fairness to kuwaitis, at last. And, actually & obviously my comment is in favor of the new pro Kuwaiti health care decisions that I see quite fair for Kuwaits. Please don't be offended since it's my opinion that is based on facts resulted from personal experience .

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  9. Firstly, I'm terribly sorry for your loss.

    Regardless of citizenship, everyone ought to receive the same medical treatment. Priority should be given to patients based on severity of medical conditions rather than neglecting the patient on citizenship. For instance, a (Kuwaiti) with a flu is given priority over a (non-Kuwaiti) with a potential asthma attack – keep in mind that around 70% of Kuwait’s population are non-Kuwaitis. Evidently, depending on the illness, this will increase the possibilities of death-in-waiting-rooms for non-Kuwaitis.

    MoH will spend 820KD million to build hospitals for non-Kuwaitis rather than focusing on the issue at hand. The money should be channelled to improve the health care system rather than reproducing the same issues with new hospitals. Such as having MoH build sister hospitals, like al-Amiri, that will cater for a number of common illnesses or to maintain medical quality control instead of one main hospital. It’s clear that Kuwait’s population has grown over the past decades surely someone has failed to address these environmental changes (i.e. population growth) which lead to this unethical scheme; hence, “band-aid” solution.

    Sadly, it’s easier to buy flowers than growing them.

    Insh’Allah we see some positive development towards Kuwait’s health care system and other areas.

    You brother,
    Mubarak

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  10. Dear Bothaina Alothman,
    Sorry for your experience and the long waiting that you had to endure with your father, and my deepest condolences, but am sorry to tell you that the problem is not going to be solved through sagrigation, its actually going to be way worse, and if you allow me, let me explain, at the moment, most of health care professionals are non Kuwaitis, when we start to strip the off a good health care system, the good ones, (and at the moment, they are still a few good ones, with empheses on "few") will start to leave, because we are striping them of a basic nesasity,  a basic Humen right, and those who will stay, will be the ones bad enough to not find any better place to be in. On the other, the education system, that graduate our health care specialist, our schools and university that still depends a lot, specially in science related subjects, will endure the same, and only less qualified teachers will stay, which means, in the years to come we will have less and less qualified people even if they were Kuwaitis, this will turn up to be a catastrophe, and instead of waiting to get a cure, you will be not waiting at all, it will be simple no use, because there is no health care any way. The solution is not in discrimination, the solution is in developing the health care system to all, so Kuwaitis can get a good care, and good non-Kuwaitis can be attracted to our country to help develop it in every aspect.
    Finally and most importantly, I would stress on the fact that it is very wrong to refuse to provide the best health care for any person because of his nationality, human beings could not be denied good health care because they don't have the right nationality, or because the arrived here after a certain date, all men kind are equal, even if we may think otherwise.
    May your father rest in piece in the gardens of heaven, and look upon us with pride for our ability to be human 

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  11. Racism and prejudice are wrong, and I hate relegating anyone to the status of sub-human, but you are grossly misinformed if you believe that the world is moving towards tolerance and acceptance while "Kuwait" is the exception in its regression.

    The entire world is upon a precipice of change which is appearing daily to be one of stronger intolerance, radical judgments, and ignorant imbeciles.

    We can only prevent this exploitation if we stopped cutting and dividing the topic into categories of national, gendered, class-related, sexualized, or religious topics.

    Kuwait is influenced by other countries (think of America with its treatment of "illegal aliens") and so it should not be seen as a "special" case, but part and parcel of the bigger problem of global capitalism and the formation of modern nations.

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  12. Dear Light, I did not say Kuwait is the exception, I said the world is fighting for health care. Please read carefully, I do not want to be misinterpreted with such an accusation.

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  13. go to a private clinic then.

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