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Sun 17 Mar 2013 12:43 PM

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Kuwait approves segregation of medical care

Kuwaitis will be given priority for medical checkups at public hospitals in the morning

Kuwait approves segregation of medical care

Kuwait’s Health Ministry has reportedly approved a proposal to designate specific hours of the day that nationals and expatriates can access medical attention.

Under the change, Kuwaitis will be given priority for medical checkups at public hospitals and clinics during the morning, with foreigners only able to access doctors in the afternoon, unless it is an emergency.

Staff also will be segregated according to their nationality, with Kuwaitis working in the morning and expat doctors in the afternoon.

The move is seen as favourable to Kuwaitis while reducing the level of care given to expats, who make up about two-thirds of the Gulf state’s population but would have fewer hours they could seek medical attention.

Human Path Organisation secretary Taher Al-Baghly told reporters when the proposal was revealed in February that it was discriminatory.

“The health service will not be equal, because consultants work in the morning and this will lead to variations in service levels,” he said.

Psychological advisor Iman Al-Bedah said the proposal was “dangerous at all levels” and would discriminate against both patients and medical staff.

“The health sector is not qualified to face the burdens of the segregation policy, which will increase patient traffic in the evening and this will worsen the level of service,” she said in February.

“Such policy contradicts the standards and ethics of the medical profession. It also clashes with legal standards and international treaties related to human rights.”

However, Kuwaiti daily Arabic newspaper Al-Anba reported on Sunday that the proposal had been accepted by the Council of Medical Zones.

The newspaper quoted a source as confirming that the change was intended to “provide better service to Kuwaiti patients”, although they claimed the quality of service given to expats would not decline.

No timeline for implementing the new policy has been announced.

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Omar Shamma 7 years ago

Sounds to me that there is a need to build more hospitals, rather than segregate care.

More spent on improving the lifestyle of Kuwaitis to reduce obesity and reduce the prevalence of diabetes and coronary heart disease would also be wise.

Sam 7 years ago

Some people never learn. These same proud Kuwaitis were standing in queues in Dubai and London when they were homeless, and their assets frozen almost worldwide. Now they want a service as vital as health to also be prioritized for themselves. I think they should ask the Americans to provide robots to serve them and kick out all the expats.

Qatari 7 years ago

The title says, "Kuwait approves 'racist' segregation of medical care" and the article says some have described this move as racist. Is Courtney Trenwith and ArabianBusiness part of the those "some" they seem to have their own opinion on that subject already. I can clearly see the agenda here.
I am not giving my opinion here about the article but I think journalism should be neutral.

Ken 7 years ago

Blatant discrimination! Wonderful.

Rasheeda Jamal 7 years ago

Give rights to Kuwaiti women and there children! My mom can't pass me the citizenship ...where is the gov sleeping !

AlexT 7 years ago

@Qatari Please do give us your opinion, I'm we are interested.

Leave already 7 years ago

It's easy for non-Kuwaiti citizens to reject it but it's not your country anyways. It's the expats who suck up all the resources in the country as they are able to get visas and bring their whole families to Kuwait for free medical. Paying only 1 KD to get complete health care is being abused every day. Those expats who are higher in class are given medical insurance by their companies and are treated better than Kuwaiti citizens. The only ones complaining are marginal laborers who are more than likely illegal already. There are 1.2 million Kuwaiti citizens vs. 2.6 million expats so if the Kuwaiti people want segregation then it's their rights so let them do as they please.

Cool.T 7 years ago

expat doctors are bought in mainly for thier speciality and expertise they bring in..In many hospitals these doctors were in demand , now what will happen if locals want to consult a expat doctor they can also visit during evening?

This is completely biased, then they should also dictate that kuwaitis should only visit in the morning..

Any how these type of practices in practical means wont stay longer and they will realise sooner or later

Rehab 7 years ago

You forgot Kuwait charges 50 kd health insurance to expats yearly and they give different medicine to Kuwaitis and expats for same ill problem !

So if you visit 2-3 times every year for fever, than it mean you charge higher than required !

Biff 7 years ago

What a narrow-minded post! Sounds like you're part of the problem. Can you not see the inequality & discrimination in this proposal? Or do you just not care?