Doctors under attack!

Muna Al Fuzai

Happy New Year everyone and I hope that all your wishes come true. I was trying to enjoy the news, but I came across the report of a sad incident involving a doctor at the Amiri Hospital was allegedly attacked by a patient.
This is not the first time we read about such ugly incidents, committed by people who I don’t think deserve to be called patients for attacking a doctor just because he did not prescribe him the drug he wished for, did not like the service, was simply bored from waiting too long or just because he thought he could get away with it.

I believe that the repeated bad behaviors of people against doctors at their workplace reflect the lack of ethics and morality of the society. Moreover, it also shows that doctors are not receiving the respect and protection that they need at their workplace, and that besides the fact that it encourages for further misbehavior.

A patient at the Amiri Hospital left his room and headed to the office of Dr Ali Al-Alanda, the Director of the hospital, and asked to be prescribed a prohibited medication. And while the doctor was explaining to him the hospital’s regulations about this drug, how it was dangerous and can’t be given without a medical prescription, the patient became furious and insisted on getting the drug. With the doctor’s refusal, the man took a stick and attacked the doctor.

He broke the doctor’s arm before being taken back to his room. I know some people may sympathy with the attacker, but I don’t . I can’t even think that an ill man can implement such a plan, in which he leaves his room, starts a fight with a hospital official and attacks him because he did not get what he wanted! That man deserves jail and not a hospital room.

Local media ran the news with several inquiries about how long these chain of attacks against doctors will continue. Not only is it a problem of brutality committed by the public or patients, but such practices also reflect a negative image about Kuwait and the Kuwaiti people in general. Please readers, don’t think that all Kuwaitis are bad or abusers. These people are only representing themselves, and not Kuwait or Kuwaitis.

I need to say here that I don’t think the attacker is a real Kuwaiti. There is no way he is. Not every holder of a Kuwaiti passport is a real Kuwaiti. With many people carrying dual citizenship, such ill actions reflect who they are as liars and forgers. Now, this man eventually may be set free because of wasta (connections) if the doctor ceded from his legal and human right of respect as a doctor and an employee who got beaten and insulted at his office and in front of everyone. We have a new Minister of Health now and hopefully this incident will not pass easily without punishment.

I have spoken with some expat doctors and I find some of them are really good and helpful, yet they don’t feel comfortable about their workplace or the public behaviors. The sad thing here is the role of the public awareness and the culture, which fails to show that doctors are not servants; instead they are there to save lives and give support. How about the Ministry of Health spreading this message among the public? Doctors are not supposed to go to their work with fear and anxiety from being attacked. They are needed to save lives and give comfort. So, how can they carry out their mission if they are abused?!

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