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Expat wanderer

Senior Citizens in Kuwait Taking Hospital Beds?

Tacked on to another article in yesterday’s Kuwait Times was this tiny bit of news, with much larger social implications:

“In other news, sources revealed that senior citizens have changed the rooms of public hospitals into old aged homes due to the low fees that are imposed on reserving a room at the hospital.

The rooms at public hospitals are worth KD 1 per day, and if the patient stays for two months, then he will pay only 500 fils per day.

Effective measures must be adopted by the Ministry of Health such as giving a determined time for each patient in order to enable hospitals to receive other patients.”

In a related article several months ago, a article in the same newspaper said that the hospitals were overrun with old people because people couldn’t take care of them at home, and it was much less shameful to say “my Mother is in the hospital” than to say “my mother is in a home for old people.”

It sounds to me like the solution is for the Kuwait government to open a state of the art “hospital” specializing in Gerontology, which in reality would be a retirement center for people unable to take care of their own physical needs, and whose families cannot meet their needs (believe me, after my father’s lengthy and debilitating illness, I know there is only so much a family can do), and they can still say that their parent(s) are in a hospital.

It would meet the need of “hospitalization,” would provide the older people with the intensive and personal services that they need, and would free the beds in traditional hospitals for the seriously ill and damaged citizens.

It’s only words.

April 23, 2007 - Posted by | Bureaucracy, Communication, Community, Cross Cultural, Customer Service, Experiment, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Generational, Health Issues, Hygiene, Kuwait, Living Conditions, News, Relationships, Social Issues, Women's Issues, Words


  1. Thats a pretty good suggestion. Even if they can’t open a whole new hospital, if the Government can provide an affordable nursing care service where you can have a nurse present at home without spending your whole month’s salary on her that would be amazing. Subsidized nursing care wouldn’t be that far off from the currently subsidized hospital rooms and probably cheaper than building a whole other hospital.

    Comment by 1001 Nights | April 23, 2007 | Reply

  2. A 150 bed Hospital is almost ready to open, it’s name is health care hospital. Target patients are long term inpatients in the general hospitals and terminal patients.

    Comment by Abdulaziz | April 23, 2007 | Reply

  3. That’s just cruel!

    Comment by kinano | April 23, 2007 | Reply

  4. Thank you, Zin and Abdulaziz; you always have such good solid input. Kinan, what if the facility were lovely, like a good hotel, only with extra help for invalids?

    What if it had spa facilities, and activities for the seniors to do, at their level of competency? Towels changed daily, help with bathing, help with diapers, if they are necessary and/or helpful, help getting into the wheelchair, help eating when you can’t get the spoon to their mouths, someone to read to you, someone to help you brush your teeth or tie your shoes when you can no longer?

    Sometimes it is less humiliating, less lacking in dignity, when it is a paid, cheerful person and you don’t feel like you are burdening your family. Families are already burning out from the unimaginable hard work it is to fully care for the aging. They need help, and the elders need more care than their families are qualified to give – many need intravenous medications, special exercises, heavy lifting out of the bed, etc. I learned all this myself, helping with my father, in this last year. Getting old ain’t for sissies.

    Comment by intlxpatr | April 23, 2007 | Reply

  5. Abdulaziz, will this hospital be open to everyone or only Kuwaiti? Is it private?

    Comment by intlxpatr | April 23, 2007 | Reply

  6. it’s not private ,,
    i really dont think its going to be limited to kuwaitis, since it’s inhumane to open a hospital and say it’s only for a certain nationality ,,, i expect it to be mostly kuwaitis . and i expect it to be filled really quickly.

    Comment by Abdulaziz | April 23, 2007 | Reply

  7. I attended an opening cerimony for a private geriatric clinic last saturday. they have specialized Doctors and they do routine home visits..
    they are based in salmiya ..

    Comment by Abdulaziz | April 23, 2007 | Reply

  8. Great information, thank you, Abdulaziz!

    Comment by intlxpatr | April 23, 2007 | Reply

  9. Then why have a family?!

    If you are going to be shipped off to a home in either case why bother yourself with building a family of your own?!

    No matter what facilities that home can provide the elderly it can never compensate for one single compassionate touch from a family member. That’s what I think! If your children won’t take care of you when you need taking care of, why did you take care of them when they needed taking care of?!

    Just my humble opinion…

    Comment by kinano | April 24, 2007 | Reply

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