Bad medication exhausts Yemenis' funds abroad

Yemen News Agency SABA
Bad medication exhausts Yemenis' funds abroad
[02/ May/2010]
By: Ali al-Khail
Translated by: Saba Stuff
Edited by: Mahmoud Assamiee

Yemeni sick cases looking for medical treatment in Egypt have increased recently to more than 200,000 cases a year by the expense average of $2000 of each. The total cost is estimated to be $400 million annually, according to the Cairo-based Yemeni embassy's statistics.

This increase is related to the bad diagnosis, management as well as the absence of supervision, evaluation and responsibility in the public and private hospitals. There is also a gap between the patient and the physician.

Yemen News Agency (Saba) shed lights on the reasons behind patients' desire to be treated abroad and how to solve the gap between patients and physicians, as well as the difficulties that may face the Yemeni Patient abroad.

We have met a number of patients in Cairo; the 33 Abdul-Ellah from Amran said that he came to Cairo over a pain below his neck after the Yemeni physicians said that his serious and bad state need chemical therapy before the disease spread but his relatives advised him to go abroad to be sure of the diagnosis.

Consequently, he went to Cairo and underwent medical tests according to the specialist physicians in Egypt though all the huge sums of money and some doctors blackmail. Surprisingly, all the tests he underwent affirmed that he dose not have malicious tumor in his neck but he suffers thyroid malfunction. So he has been given iodine and he is in good health now.

Abduh Ali Saleh has a similar story to the previous person. He affirmed that he left Sana'a to Cairo looking for a medicine to his wife over the diagnosis of the Yemeni physicians which affirmed having a tumor. Physicians referred him to the Tumor Center where they prepared a medical report to be treated abroad.
"As I arrived in Cairo with my wife, we went to Qaser Al-Aini hospital where they carried out needed tests to her," he said. "Unexpectedly, the examinations showed that she is free of malicious tumor. But she suffers benign tumor which needs eradication and plastic surgery and that would be too expensive," he made it clear.

Old man Abduh from Taiz who has suffered from Prostate tumor according to examinations of a hospital in Taiz got the same treatment; a surgery has been decided to eliminate the tumor from his body. But after consulting his sons who decided to send him abroad for treatment and that was not because they do not trust the Yemeni physicians but because they do not have the modern medical instruments. After repeating the tests many times in a private hospital in Cairo he got astonished of being tumor – free. He only needed a penetrating surgery besides having a tablet every day and he is fine now.

Jaber Mohammed is another case which took six months to be decided on. After six months of searching, the tests and the diagnosis catheterization showed that he has a narrowing in the kidney's arteries. That needed an urgent treating catheterization and fixing a balloon.

Jaber pointed out that two years after the surgery, the disease came back, blood pressure went up and kidney functions deteriorated and the doctor decided to do the surgery again. But because the doctors' carelessness, they used to give him fake appointments for two weeks and ultimately told him that the blood vessels scanner did not work and this case was not their specializations.

"I have sold all my properties to go to Egypt and do the demanded tests, but the disaster was that all the doctors there depended on the primary tests the Yemeni doctor did not mention any information in the report about the balloon surgery. Then the physician decided to carry out therapeutic catheterization to insert a new one inside the pervious to expand the arteries. The surgery succeeded and I am in good health now," Jaber explained.

Ahmed Ali, from Dhamar, pointed that his brother's case is stable now after three surgeries of planting a nerve in his right foot in a hospital in Cairo after most of the Yemeni physicians decided to amputate it because of their bad diagnosis.
"Yemen has medical cadres and abilities. But there is no honesty in diagnosing. Treatment in Egypt is expensive but useful," he added.

All patients in Cairo agreed that there is a trust gap between the patients and the Yemeni physicians because of their enormous mistakes in diagnosing and carelessness. As well as Yemeni hospitals suffer the shortage in the medical instruments.

Dr. Nashwan Mohammed affirmed that the trustless between the patient and the physician is because of the absence of the black list that should contain names of doctors and hospitals who committed huge and fatal mistakes against their patients, as well as the absence of the supervision, responsibility and the punishment principle.

Dr. Abdul-Salam al-Ba'adani who owns a medical service office in Cairo affirmed that the medical problem in Yemen is lack of conscience and honesty of performing their duties. These two principles are rarely found in a doctor or a hospital in Yemen because they only care about how to collect money by any means.

He also pointed out that the Yemeni patients coming to Cairo are constantly increasing because of the lack of trust and also the absence of the specialist staff in Yemen. "I am sure that we have qualified medical staff in Yemen but they do not do their job appropriately, they do not care about people or community as much as money and fame", he said.

The health attaché at Yemen embassy in Cairo, Dr.Adel al-Ansi told Saba that the average of the Yemeni patients' influx to Cairo reached to more than 200.000 a year. At expenditure average of $ 2000-3000 for each and this costs the national economy hard currency annually.

He also affirmed that embassy's role is to help Yemeni patients, guide him to the appropriate physicians and hospitals. It also helps them in getting some discounts in private labs as well as having some contracts with high qualified hospitals to treat Yemeni patients in low prices considering their living state, pointing out that most of the cases suffer from (kidney diseases and kidney failure, cancer in all its kinds, cardiac surgeries, liver, bones and blood vessels).

He also said that the trust- absence between is because the bad administration, the medical quality absence as well as supervision. Additionally the existed hospitals do not cover some cases that need high specialists.
Al-Anisi point out that the medical syndicate law in Egypt imposes physicians to differentiate between the Egyptian patients and the foreigners in which foreigners should pay double charges. However, we do not have these medical differentiations in Yemen.

He also insisted on the importance of having coordination between the two health ministries in the two brotherly countries by making medical centers in Yemen and bringing Egyptian medical teams constantly to Yemen to perform the complicated surgeries here in Yemen.