Patients deserted in hospitals by their families on rise

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Problem frustrating medical, nursing staff

KUWAIT CITY, March 29: Despite shedding light on the humanitarian challenges that patients who have been abandoned in hospitals are facing, as well as the suffering of medical and nursing staff due to the refusal of some families to receive their relatives and choosing to instead leave them in the wards for periods extending to years, this phenomenon continues to exist, which is increasing the burden on the medical system, reports Al-Qabas daily. According to health sources, the number of longstay patients whose families refused to receive them and are left in hospitals has increased to about 230 cases, distributed in Farwaniya, Mubarak Al-Kabeer, Sabah, Amiri, Adan, and Jahra hospitals.

This problem has been frustrating the medical and nursing staff for years, especially since there are difficult humanitarian scenes that they face while supervising patients who are authorized to leave but do not find anyone to complete the discharge procedures. Many sick cases have remained in the hospital wards for months, while others have been there for years without receiving a single visit. The old Jahra Hospital also receives cases that require a longer stay due to chronic diseases or injuries that require an indefinite stay.

The relatives of some patients refuse to complete the procedures for the discharge of their patients due to the lack of a suitable place for them at home, or their inability to assign a nurse to provide home medical care for the patient. The painful human scenes that health officials recounted to the daily include the presence of many elderly patients who have not received a single visit from anyone for long periods, which increases their suffering and pain. In the same context, the sources revealed the Ministry of Health’s plan to allocate the old Jahra Hospital for providing medical care to patients from other hospitals who suffer from chronic diseases and require long stays. They said this is aimed at providing the required number of beds inside the wards and private rooms, and regulating the workflow in them, especially after the transfer of all medical specialties and departments from the old building to the new hospital, which has the capacity to accommodate very large number of patients and visitors, in Jahra Governorate.

The sources explained that the old hospital started receiving a number of patients who suffer from chronic diseases and require long stays, from Mubarak Al-Kabeer and Adan hospitals recently. They and the existing patients have been accommodated in three wards. The ministry has been keen about providing health services to all patients in its facilities, and ensure that citizens and residents receive all medical services in the departments and wards without facing any obstacles, as well as make sure that the appointments granted to them are reduced as much as possible.

The sources revealed that some embassies do not respond to the repeated calls of public hospital officials, especially with regard to the need to take the patients to their countries due to the lack of any necessity for them to remain in the hospital wards for many years, and in consideration of the high cost for providing health care for those cases as a result of their stay in the wings for long periods, as well as the difficulty in collecting the accumulated dues from the patients. They said the allocation of the old Jahra Hospital for long-term forgotten patients will contribute to relieving pressure on the health system in other hospitals in the next stage.

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