In a surprising statement to local media, Minister of Health Ali Al-Obaid announced the opening of an office of World Health Organization (WHO) soon in Kuwait. This could be a step to reform the health sector in Kuwait, something we desperately need, bearing in mind the multiple problems all hospitals are facing. I’m not a doctor to set the list of problems of the health sector in Kuwait, but I am among the thousands of people who are obliged to deal with this sector as a patient. There are some key issues that seriously need consultation from the WHO.
For example, we have some excellent doctors here in Kuwait who are capable of providing patients with the right diagnoses and surgery if needed. But it takes two to tango! Nursing is no less important than successful surgery. When a complicated surgery is done, it will need an excellent nursing system and medical facilities to ensure the operation is complete and the quick recovery of the patient without negative complications or relapse. Right now, people complain from the limited number of beds and nurses. Moreover, doctors are overloaded, especially in the physical therapy sector. We need to have new hospitals too, but it will not happen in a day. So maybe WHO will be able to provide advice on how to handle this situation in Kuwait.
Expats worker are coming to Kuwait every day, a matter that needs quick and urgent attention. Every day Kuwait receives a large number of labourers – some come from modern countries with a secure medical system – but not all. Some expat workers come from Arab and Asian countries that I don’t trust follow accurate medical measures while checking their workers before they head to Kuwait by issuing accurate health certificates for them. Most poor countries will do whatever it takes just to send their people abroad, so their observation of the possible diseases they may take out to other people is not a concern for them. That is why hepatitis is increasing in Kuwait, not only among exapts, but transferred to Kuwaitis too.
The Ministry of Health claims that two to five percent of the population in Kuwait has been diagnosed with hepatitis C. This may seem small, but it is an indicator. The Ministry of Health had announced a few months ago that it would deport expats that contract infectious diseases in a bid to avoid spreading the virus. But here is the problem – medical checks for newcomers takes about 10 days or more. I wonder how many people he or she can harm until the results come! I hope the WHO office in Kuwait will help the Ministry of Health improve and upgrade the health sector and medical research, and keep the medical sector up-to-date and involved with the latest news, WHO decisions and projects.
By Muna Al-Fazai