Patients in Hadramout: Victims of the Private Sector After Terminating Government Fund

Reports

Thu, 13-01-2022 03:14 PM, Aden

Abdullah Al-Shadli (South24) 

Patients in Hadramout governorate, South Yemen, suffer from the exploitation of the private health sector, after the deteriorating of the government sector as a result of terminating fund provided by the local authority to this sector. [1]

The local authority in the oil-rich governorate had allocated a percentage of the taxes on the sale of the Yemeni famous plant “Qat” plant for the benefit of the government sector before this decision was stopped in April 2020 due to the prevention of Qat entrance to the governorate.

This fund was to contribute to strengthening the capacities of hospitals, stabilizing health work, reducing the burden on low income citizens, according to official health sources to "South24".

Resignations

Terminating government fund to the health sector led to a wave of mass resignations in several health facilities in the Hadramout Coast.

The first which was the resignation of the Office Director of the Ministry of Public Health and Population, Dr. Abdullah Mubarak Kaiti on August 14, 2020.

In a letter to Hadramout Governor, Dr. Abdullah attributed the reasons for his resignation to the "deteriorating health situation" on the Coast of Hadramout, and the "lack of capabilities" that would allow providing a decent humanitarian service.

Similar to Dr. Abdullah's decision, the general health practitioners in Ibn Sina General Hospital announced on October 1, 2020, a collective resignation to protest the violation of their financial rights and the hospital's deteriorating situation.

The resignation of 110 doctors came after they carried out a series of protests and civil strikes, the last of which was on September 22, 2020.


Emergency Department - Ibn Sina General Hospital in Mukalla, 11 November 2021 (South24, Abdullah Al-Shadli)

Sources told "South24" that "the reasons for submitting the resignation are due to the suspension of fund for the hospital which amounted to about 20 million riyals and was monthly received from the local authority in Hadramout."

The sources pointed out that "the hospital fund, used to meet part of its needs," noting that the work continued well until it was decided to lift the fund completely.

As an extension of the mass resignations wave, the isolation doctors at the Infectious Center in Ibn Sina Hospital announced their resignation as of August 31, 2021.

The resignation statement, signed by 18 doctors and medical residents at the center, stated that "the lack of preparation for the repeated waves of infectious diseases and Coronavirus forced the workers to resign."

The statement stated that there is a severe shortage of bed capacity and the lack of sufficient oxygen tanks, in addition to the violation of the doctors and workers' rights in the center.

Contractors of government hospitals in Hadramout Coast entered into a series of other strikes to demand their rights, which caused paralysis in health facilities, especially after they refused to receive patients during the strike, according to citizens who spoke to "South24".

Other government hospitals contractors who work for daily wages also carried out a series of strikes to demand justice and their rights. [2]

Exploit

In light of the deteriorating activity of the government health sector and the continued strikes, many patients turned to the private sector to receive care.

In an interview with "South24", health sources accused the private sector of "providing a commission for specialists who advise patients to go to a specific hospital," considering that this increases the cost to the patient.

In their accusations against the private sector, the sources claimed that some surgeries which require 20,000 riyals to be performed in government hospitals, are performed at 100,000 riyals, not including the specialist's commission which can reach up to 60% in private hospitals.

Hadramis feel that private hospitals are exploiting their clients.

Salem Basawad - a citizen of Wadi Hadramout - told "South24" that "treatment costs are high in private hospitals, and the average citizen cannot bear the burdens," claiming that their results "are sometimes unpleasant."

Local citizens accuse some private hospitals of "greed" at the expense of the patients' health who do not have the treatment costs and refuse to receive them permanently.

However, Dr. Ayser Al-Badani, Director-General of Al-Rayyan Specialist Hospital in Mukalla, confirmed to "South24" that "critical cases are treated directly from a humanitarian standpoint".

Some say that "the cost of admission in some private hospitals varies between 20,000 riyals to 30,000 riyals per day, not including the cost of treatment, and in addition, the patient is forced to pay a deposit (guarantee) of about 100,000 riyals."[3]