Kuwait Health Ministry’s latest move to approve a proposal, designating specific hours to nationals and expatriates seeking medical attention, is being described as a racist act.
According to the said proposal, the Kuwaiti nationals (or the Arabs to be more specific) will be given priority for medical evaluations at public hospitals and clinics during the morning hours while non-Kuwaiti residents will have to wait till afternoon for their turn, unless of course, they are desperate in case of an emergency. Not only this, the staff will also be assigned duties according to the same order. Kuwaiti doctors will report during the morning and expat doctors will be left with the afternoon shift.
The move, obviously, was received with much criticism and condemnation from many people in and out of Kuwait. People see this as a ‘segregation’ that will eventually benefit the Kuwaitis but not the expatriates that make up almost two thirds of the nation’s population. Though the Kuwaiti authorities claim that the move aims towards ‘better medical care’ for everyone, it still doesn’t make sense whatsoever.
Psychological advisor Iman Al-Bedah rightly said that such a policy will only increase patient traffic in the evening which will eventually lead to less efficient medical services. Human Path Organisation secretary Taher Al-Baghly pointed out that this proposal is ‘dangerous at all levels’. And he is absolutely right, since this will only pit the national and expat staff and patients against each other.
The problem with the proposal is that the segregation is very obvious. And if it is not obvious to the government then it ought to be brought to their knowledge for their own good.
Foreigners, in all Gulf States, already face a lot of discrimination in the field of education, business etc. The Arabs prefer their nationals for jobs and other benefits to expatriates, even if they have been living there for twenty or thirty years. If this new policy gets implemented it is sure to cause a lot of chaos. It is better if the authorities did something beforehand.