Medics beaten

Muna Al Fuzai

Attacks on medical staff continue in Kuwait, which is unfortunate and shameful. The latest fight was over a bathroom. It ended tragically with a nurse being sent for surgery and the doctor going to the police station to complain against the attackers. Reports about doctors getting insulted and beaten at their workplaces are becoming viciously repetitive. It is regrettable that some try to justify such attacks because of the grief of a patient’s family, overcrowding and long waiting periods. These claims can never be a justification to attack doctors and nurses.

The doctor and nurse at Al-Sabah Hospital were beaten by three brothers because of a dispute over using the toilet. According to a security source, the doctor and nurse clashed with the public relations employees because the latter insisted on using the nurses’ toilet. A fight ensued with a verbal exchange, which was aggravated by beatings. The nurse was seriously injured and transferred to the operation theater, while the rest of the people went to Shuwaikh police station for legal action. This could mean waiting for a court decision, and maybe the attackers would have to pay a few dinars in fines.

The Kuwait Nursing Society denounced the attack and demanded that the ministries of health and interior punish the aggressors, urging Health Minister Dr Jamal Al-Harbi to “protect medical personnel from repeated attacks”. I wonder if these PR employees will be allowed to continue their work until the court verdict. They should be immediately fired, because if they are public relations employees, this means they directly interact with hospital visitors and patients. If they have no respect for the medical staff, I would assume show no courtesy to the general public.

Moral and societal corruption and the spread of wasta and ignorance have turned beatings into a normal occurrence. When a man beats his wife, it is considered a disciplinary act because she made a mistake. Although the police may act as a deterrence, the society makes it acceptable. If this is not ignorance and backwardness, I don’t know what it is.

This case may end with reconciliation and peace among all parties, but I hope the doctor and the injured nurse will not accept a settlement and demand their legal rights. The MoH must set new rules to protect its staff and shouldn’t accept letting them fall prey to anyone.

By Muna Al-Fuzai
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