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Treatment segregation proposal at Kuwait hospitals to be rejected

Plan suggests morning treatment only for Kuwaitis

Gulf News

Manama: A proposal to devote hospital services in the morning only to Kuwaiti nationals is likely to be rejected by the health ministry, a senior official has said.

“We will reject it if it clashes with human rights principles,” Khalid Al Sahlawi, the health ministry undersecretary said. “The ministry fully supports the rights of all patients regardless of their nationalities,” he said, quoted by local Arabic daily Al Jareeda on Sunday.

The proposal was tabled at a meeting of health ministry staff to review ways to improve the delivery of services to patients.

Under the idea, Kuwaitis would be checked or treated in hospitals and public clinics in the morning and foreigners would have access to medical services in the afternoon.

“This was just an idea that had been discussed by the heads of health districts, hospitals and medical divisions,” Al Sahlawi said. “Nothing has been conveyed to the ministry council chaired by the heath minister.”

According to the official, the proposal would make regular clinic services available to Kuwaitis only in the morning, but all people, including foreigners, would benefit from emergency services at all times.

“We will of course look into all the details. Kuwaiti hospitals and clinics are of course ready to treat all those who are contributing to the country’s development,” he said, referring to the almost two million expatriates living in the northern Arabian Gulf state.

News about splitting the day in the country’s public clinics and hospitals between Kuwaitis and non-Kuwaitis has sparked outrage on social networks, according to the Kuwaiti daily.