We all know that for a sick person, one option is a visit to a doctor. Recently, when I got “under the weather” I had no choice but to go to a public clinic and it was quite a daunting experience. According to Kuwaiti Law it is mandatory that expatriates have health insurance from government scheme or local insurer. Having health insurance gives the expatriates comprehensive medical coverage in Kuwait that includes access to Kuwait healthcare facilities.
At 3:30 in the afternoon it is so quiet in the clinic that all the doctors are yawning or sleeping. Hardly any patients are in the clinic. A good time to go, I thought upon entering the clinic. As I walked into the clinic I could smell dettol. There were cleaners mopping up with a forlorn look on their faces. A guy was standing near the machine where I picked up the ticket for expatriates. I put a KD (dinar) in the machine to get a ticket, and gave it to person who enters the information into the computer. He took my health card, looked at it, then looked at me. He gave me a lazy look and gave me a printed paper with a room number and my number to see the doctor. I looked at the paper and I walked towards the corridor, saw the room number. When I found it, it was busy; I waited for few minutes outside the room.
Once the door opened I could see there was a man cleaning the room. As he left I walked into the room and greeted the doctor. He didn’t show compassion towards me. It seemed as if I had interpreted his break time or napping time. I started by telling him that I had cough, fever, and other problems. He didn’t seem interested. He started prescribing medicines and when I inquired about some medicines, he didn’t give information about the medicine or its side effects. After, asking for an examination he gave me an inadequate response. “It’s not what you think it is” he said. When I recommended that I get a certain medicine because it suits me, he didn’t even answer my questions. After getting a cold reception from the doctor, I thanked him anyway and left the room. I was disappointed as to why I even bothered to come to this clinic when I got such little help!
I walked to the pharmacy. A lady was sitting there with heavy makeup. She gave me a look that was unapproachable, yet I put the paper in front of her. She stared at the paper and started getting the medicine that were prescribed by the doctor. She told me what time I should take them. As I pick up the medicines, she tells me “cough outside”. I looked at her, and thought to myself that if one is working in a hospital clinic, they have to endure sick people and unhealthy people. They all come to hospital, with germs, virus, and bacteria. As a health worker one has to bear it.
My conclusion from the experience is – if one is sick do not go to these public clinics although we pay to go there. They have a bad attitude, are arrogant, and unsympathetic. It is not a welcoming and a friendly hospital. The doctors are not serious about patient’s health, they don’t inquire or investigate the patient’s illness. They don’t prescribe right medicine to the patient. Overall the workers, the doctors, nurse, cleaning workers, clerical staff, and pharmacy staff is unfriendly, unwelcoming, distant and unhelpful towards patients! Staffs were rude, arrogant, and lazy or had a negative attitude. There was a lack of care and compassion. Staff did not do enough to ensure the patient was comfortable. Staff did not keep patients well informed and inadequate response to requests and complaints.