The Health Ministry’s department of treatment abroad is considered the scorcher for all who manage it, as much as it is rewarding for those who want to financially benefit from it. There is no big difference between the service abroad that is presented by the government (particularly as the summer break approaches for some groups of citizens and most hospitals are in Europe and America) and the service of distributing farm lands and animal pens, free of charge, also for a select group of citizens.
The harm of both exceeds their benefits and in most cases, these grants work only in buying temporary loyalty and do not deserve respect.
There is no doubt that there are those who should be spent on for the necessary treatment in specialized hospitals and international specialists, particularly those whose finances do not allow them to receive treatment abroad. Yet the aim of most of those who go to the department of treatment abroad is to get free ‘tourism treatment’ and the evidence is that the ‘ill’ do not turn out sick, and their cases do not become critical and require treatment abroad except due to the coming summer.
But in winter, you will find no one applying and it seems that the ‘ill’ wants to get sick in Kuwait’s beautiful weather during this time, while the temperature in Europe is below zero! The treatment department is a waste of money and effort and may be a center for nurturing grudges and hatred between various groups of people, especially when they see how transactions of some are accepted for those who have wastas (persons who mediate on behalf of others) from influential people and members of parliament, while rejecting others who deserve it and whose diseases are more critical than others.
The government does not find gratitude or thanks from those who got treatment tourism, either because they feel that it is their right and those who grab it are lucky or because they got it through wasta, and the gratitude goes for the wasta, and not the state. Also, those who and their families got the opportunity of treatment abroad, got it after great efforts and extreme suffering and bouts of begging over many months, this in addition to fights, daily physical and psychological suffering, so, there is no one who deserves their thanks!
We said it before and we repeat it again, this unjustified generosity of grants and gifts has no benefit except for the person who got it, because it is short lived and its harm is long lasting, as the free service receiver forgets quickly and asks for more and if his request is rejected, he becomes angry and starts complaining! If our government was actually wise and thought about deducting from what was being allocated each year for treatment abroad, at least for the past twenty years alone, then it would have collected an amount enough to build 10 international hospitals with international doctors. But what can be done, when clumsiness is our slogan!
—Translated by Kuwait Times
By Ahmad Al-Sarraf