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Saturday , December 5 2020

Maltreatment of patients, extortion, physical abuse widespread in hospital for ‘mentally ill’

Corruption rampant in ‘house of terror’ ward

KUWAIT CITY, July 23: Corruption comes in all types and sizes. Some embezzle millions while others in billions. Some corrupt people are high-ranking officials – former or current – who have made huge fortunes from human trafficking and money laundering, and have bought for themselves palaces in Europe and yachts and resorts in the Caribbean, there is also ‘small corrupt’ people and human traffickers and this is another type of corruption practiced by few weak innocent souls, who are afflicted by the disease, reports Al-Seyassah daily.

A view of the hospital for mentally ill people.

What is happening at the Kuwait Center for Mental Health – according to information and documents obtained by the daily – it is a model of ‘corruption of the young’, where various forms of oppression are practiced against patients, including beating and humiliation, as well as stealing their belongings and selling their medications.

It is believed the patients are compelled to pay the nurses some kind of royalty in the form of a monthly stipend which at times is believed to be about 300 dinars to ensure a decent and human treatment. An eyewitness who has a brother at the facility said the patient is receiving treatment for years and he finally came forward and complained to the investigation authorities when he could no longer close an eye to what was happening to his brother.

Many of the facts relate specifically to what relatives of patients call a ‘house of terror’ – referring to ward ‘34’ – which is controlled by two nurses, although complaints have been pouring in. The witness in recounting the incident said his brother was beaten and when he sought the help of the center’s administration and the latter refused to allow him to see his brother for days before finally giving him permission. It became clear that his brother was subjected to “maltreatment” and suffered minor fractures as a result and had to be referred to the Al-Sabah area hospital and was returned from the back door of the hospital. He explained that it later became clear that a nurse in the wing “34”, is violent and uses (karate) technique on his patients, (which also happened to his brother) which caused him bruises and abrasions in separate areas of the body and caused him bruising on the left shoulder and bruise on the left chest.

Available information indicates that attacks on patients are a frequent phenomenon in the center, for example there is another incident that dates back to January 2019, when a report issued from inside the hospital proved that an attack by nurses on a 68 years old patient, which led to the existence of abrasion, a bruise under the eye, and by asking the patient, he stated that the night shift nurse had beaten him, and he ended up receiving treatment without opening a serious investigation.

Complaints do not stop at beating and insulting, as they include financial abuses by some nurses, who contact the families of patients and obtain money for the use of patients but no records of such money is found or not known if the money was spent on the patient. According to the same information, the cash money that the parents pay to the nurses is nothing but ‘extortion’ which begins the moment the patient enters ward ‘34’ and the condition and follow up of the patients becomes a specialty of the nurse who finally treats the patient as his property and starts blackmailing the family and the patient.

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