Two MPs have filed to grill Health Minister Dr Ali Al-Obaidi over a variety of allegations. While filing interpellation motions is the right of lawmakers, one has to look at the bigger picture, as there is a tendency to look at a person’s flaws and ignore his achievements. Since assuming office, Dr Obaidi has initiated plenty of new services and has overseen the opening and refurbishment of many health facilities. He has also moved to fight corruption, like referring the Washington health office to the public prosecution.
Dr Obaidi’s other achievements include working to prevent the deadly Ebola virus from entering Kuwait, facilitating health services for the elderly, developing health insurance in the country and leading the regional office of WHO. In fact, the choice of Kuwait as an integral member in the executive office of WHO that sets international health legislations, among 34 countries, is a great feather in Dr Obaidi’s cap. The minister also exerted efforts to approve the pensioners’ insurance law and the psychiatric board.
The new health facilities and wards opened under Dr Obaidi’s watch include the new Razi Hospital and many operation theaters and wards in Amiri, Sabah, Infectious Diseases, Farwaniya, Adan, Jahra and Ibn Sina hospitals. He also oversaw the openings of a virus laboratory, the Yaqoub Behbehani bone marrow transplant center and a dermatology center in Abdullah Al-Salem. Many polyclinics have opened in various areas of Kuwait, including the Omariya and Fintas polyclinics.
While this is not an exhaustive list, the positives completely outweigh the negatives. To err is human, and those responsible have to be taken to account, but one has to acknowledge that the health ministry has seen a lot of developments under Dr Obaidi. I believe things have to be put into perspective before rushing to judge the minister’s work and placing the blame about everything that is wrong in the health ministry solely on his doorstep. Give the man a chance to perform.
By Abd Al-Rahman Al-Alyan