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Healthcare at hospitals unsatisfactory, says poll – ‘Will go home for major treatment’

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 28: In this week’s Arab Times online poll, readers weighed in on the health care services in Kuwait with the majority of respondents sharing that they had experienced poor diagnosis and treatment at public medical facilities. 30% of voters felt that the diagnostic and treatment at public hospitals in Kuwait was lacking, 11% of voters felt that there was a lack of specialised treatments and qualified doctors available locally and 24% of respondents shared that they would opt to go abroad or to their home country and get treated for major conditions.

“A few years ago I went to the public hospital with severe pain in my abdomen. I was told by the doctor that I was constipated. I told the doctor that this wasn’t so but he didn’t do any other investigations. The pain became more intense and I had to call in a few favours to get an appointment with another doctor. It was then discovered that I had burst my appendix”, a reader shared.

Another expat worker was diagnosed with kidney stones and sent home with medication after a preliminary check-up at a public hospital. “As the pain intensified during the week and I didn’t seem to be getting any better, my wife decided that we should consult a urologist at a private hospital for a proper diagnosis. We did that and discovered that I had no kidney stones and the issue was with my prostate. I wish the doctors at the public hospital had done some more tests to determine what was wrong with me, I wouldn’t have been in so much agony for a week.”

“I had a bad experience with a doctor at a public hospital recently. He asked that I do an MRI and gave me a letter to have it done at a very expensive private hospital here. That private hospital charged me twice as much as I would’ve paid anywhere else in Kuwait and there was no reason for me to do it there specifically but the doctor had insisted. I suspect that he probably receives a commission for referring patients to that hospital and is duping many others”, a reader told the Arab Times.

17% of respondents were complained about having to wait a long time for an appointment for specialized clinics. “Anybody who has experienced the outpatient services of the public hospitals in Kuwait will tell you how hard it is to get timely appointments. The wait between appointments is very long and if you miss one, rescheduling is a nightmare.”

Another patient recounted, “During the summer, my regular doctor went on leave, but before he could travel he had recommended certain medical tests to be carried out and had left instructions in my file for the course of action that needed to be taken after the results. But his duties did not pass on to another colleague and I just had to wait for him to come back from his long break to be treated again.”

9% of poll participants shared that they do not use the public healthcare system and go solely to private centres and only 10% of overall respondents felt that the quality of the healthcare in Kuwait was satisfactory. “I think we are blessed in Kuwait with affordable healthcare. I don’t think we should take that for granted”, one reader pointed out.

By Cinatra Fernandes Arab Times Staff

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