Dystopia of Segregated Healthcare in Kuwait

Nothing quite infuriates the educated mind more than blatant, unabashed RACISM, which is exactly what was printed in Al Qabas Newspaper today (link).

The Issue of Private Medical care for Kuwaiti Nationals is being thrown around nowadays, as Ghanima AlFahad points out, in her first “Demand”:

1) مستشفى خاص للكويتيين، نعم خاص بهم ولا علاقة للوافدين بهذا المستشفى.

Which translates exactly to, A hospital exclusively for Kuwaitis, yes just for them, expats have nothing to do with it.

Does this mean that the staff will also be all Kuwaiti? The ENTIRE staff, not just the attending and on-call doctors, but everything from Nurse to Janitor to Doctor? Or are expats good enough to clean after you Ghanima but not good enough to be treated in the same hospital?

Point number 2:

2) تطبيق القانون بحذافيره على كل مخطئ ومتلاعب وخاصة الوافدين المتلاعبين.

Implementing the law to the letter on all wrong-doers and con-artists, especially expat con artists.

I cannot bring myself to debate these issues as I was under the impression that with the abolishment of racial segregation in the United States in 1968 and of apartheid in South Africa in1994 that these issues would be naught by moot points in the 21st Century, however it seems that there are still those with archaic ideologies and thoughts.

Healthcare is healthcare. Disease, calamities and accidents do not distinguish what nationality you are, DEATH does not care what nationality you are.

The good thing about this is that not everyone agrees with Ghanima’s antics, the Kuwaiti Doctors Union stated that the development of a hospital for “Expats only” or one for “Nationals only” would be detrimental to Kuwait’s image on the global platform (link).

In a recent press statement, the union explained the stipulations of the bill are not in line with the agreements, which Kuwait had signed with the international human rights organizations.  It argued the proposal will tarnish the reputation of Kuwait because it does not have medical, financial or humanitarian backing.

The union pointed out many people have been suffering due to the deterioration of the health sector and it will only get worse if Kuwait encourages discrimination through the construction of hospitals for expatriates.  It is not proper to push for the establishment of these hospitals under the pretext that the expatriate population in the country has increased remarkably and they have depleted the resources of the Ministry of Health at the expense of the citizens, the union argued.

The union is quoted as saying, “We recognize the right of every Kuwaiti to the best medical care as stipulated in the Constitution but the problem requires root-level solutions, instead of attributing it to the rising number of expatriates.  This is not a plausible justification for the negligence of some ministers and lawmakers,” .

The union also called on the concerned officials to carefully study the proposal to prevent huge losses, which might negatively affect the medical sector, citing as an example the Health Ministry’s failure to achieve its objects when it approved the health insurance bill for expatriates in 1999.

Bearing in mind that a report published throught Wikileaks stressed that health service for expatriates in Kuwait has deteriorated, in addition to allegations that medicine given to expatriates is only a little better than chalk (link). The truth behind this report is questionable, The Chairperson of Kuwait Pharmacists Society Dr Tareq Habib refuted this.

He added the Health Ministry spends more than 180 million dinars annually on medicine and medical equipment, urging the ministry must counter the allegation. He saw the need for lasting solution to the health Insurance issue to avoid unfair accusations that harm the country’s image.

The only thing that tarnishes the country’s image is the fact that archaic ideas such as Ghanima’s are allowed to be published in a daily newspaper.

August 2011 ( View complete archive page )

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