Today’s been exceptionally bad, it was like I was standing there minding my own business and the shit just rained down on me. Got a call from my friend (whose house my kid was playing) that my son had a fall and he is in too much pain. He said ‘it looks like a fracture, take him to Mubarakiya’. Instead of taking his advice I took him to Dar Al-Shifa, one of the most reputed hospitals in Kuwait, after all who goes to Government hospitals, when you are covered by private insurance right? Also, unlike Govt hospital you are given utmost importance at private hospitals where ‘service’ is the top priority right?
But after today’s incident that perspective of mine has changed, but let me warn you in advance, this is purely based on my experience, this by no means is judgmental on private health care or Dar Al Shifa in general, as an adult please take your own decision.
- At approximate 6 PMwe (Me, Wife, & my Kid who is just 4yrs 8month old) reach Dar Al-Shifa, after visiting the casualty we are asked to pay the fee which is 4KD since we are covered by Insurance.
- After initial examination nurse says doctor is not available we have to wait, but doctor turns up and sends my son to X-Ray.
- 6.30 PM, with great difficulty the X-Ray session is over as my Son is in severe pain and can not move his hand much.
- 6.40 PM. We’ve been told that ‘for sure there is a fracture; you have to go to the ‘Orthopedic’ section, Dr XYZ has been informed and he is on his way as he resumes duty at 7.30PM” (because of Iftar). And we’ve been advised not to feed anything to the child for ‘some’ reason.
- After waiting for a while in the lounge I am told to pay again, though I am surprised, I ask the clerk (Who is so busy, he wouldn’t even look at my face) ‘why do I have to pay twice’ ?
“this doctor is different, you must pay” is the stern reply. I Pay 4KD again
- Upon knowing this my wife questions the clerk why we have been charged twice?
“because the Orthopedic doctor was in his break, so we sent you to emergency, that’s why we are charging you again, also emergency doctor refuses to forfeit his charges’ replies the clerk
”but that is unfair!! If the doctor is not on duty, you should inform us, you tricked us, we would have gone to some other hospital where there is a doctor available, this is cheating’ says wife
Now the clueless clerk calls a ‘supervisor’ (who has tad bit more experience in speaking English) he says ‘An inquiry will take place, you will have to fill complaint form’ though no one gives us a form.
- Meanwhile the ‘Supervisor’ takes our second bill and changes ‘on-call doctor’ status to ‘Consultation to Dr ABC’ (without informing us and against our will)
- 8PM :It’s 2 hours since we are at Dar Al-Shifa, the child is in utter pain, hungry, sleepy but our turn simply wouldn’t come (while every one is just being treated). Upon enquiring it turns out that they have prior appointment and we have to wait for our turn. Now I am furious, this is simply inhuman, not enough that they changed our on-call status to Consultation they are making the child with a fracture wait. I raise my voice to the ‘supervisor’, I tell him that I am a blogger and I will post about this incident, on realizing that he doesn’t know what’s a blog is I tell I am a journalist and this incident will be reported, with in a minute my child is sent to an Orthopedic doctor (who is not the doctor of our choice, after all, that’s why we pay money right, to see the best doctor, wouldn’t I go to Government hospital if random doctor is the option?) and we are told by this supervisor “Dr ABC is a good doctor, but if he can’t handle then he will transfer the case to Dr XYZ” (Really?? Hospitals hire doctors who can’t handle cases?) and Dr ABC says ‘this X-Ray is not clear you need to give me a better X-Ray for proper diagnosis.
- 8.20PM Now I have lost all my patience, I can’t take it anymore, being a cancer patient I have no more strength to carry on. Though exhausted from a hard days work my wife gives a final shot requesting the receptionist if she can request Dr XYZ to spare just few minutes for our child. The receptionist calls the doctor’s secretary who asks us “CAN YOU COME IN THE MORNING?” Now imagine an orthopedic doctor who wouldn’t check patient (that too a child) without appointments even in emergency, to rub salt on wound he calls us ‘Tomorrow’??? Really? they do that? They send people with broken bones to come back according to doctors convenience?? What’s the point of being the best doctor in town if he doesn’t have humanity?
- 8.24PM, I can’t take it anymore, hungry and freaked out with a child writhing in pain I walk out of Dar Al-Shifa,
probablyfor the last time. After this ridiculously insane /inhuman experience I have no reason to return EVER AGAIN as long as I live in Kuwait.
- 9PM, Al Razi Hospital, random duty doctor, quick X-Ray, quick casting, quick visit to pharmacy, and we are home at 10pm
I wonder why I did not go to Al Razi at 6PM? Was I so blinded by the tall tales they tell about Government hospitals? Was I proud of my private insurance and going to Govt hospital will reduce my social status? Or Was I plain stupid? I don’t know, but one thing I realized today, it doesn’t matter how fancy is the building, it is the people inside that make a difference. Goodbye Dar Al-Shifa, you have been unkind to a child.
Disclaimer: This is my experience from one department at Dar Al-Shifa, I am not referring to the entire hospital in general.