"Call me back only when my mother dies” — this is how some individuals end their conversations with the medical staff that are in-charge of treating their parents, reports a local daily quoting sources from Ministry of Health. They explained that some of these parents who are admitted in Adan Hospital are in good health but their children send them to the hospitals to avoid taking care of them, and they prefer to leave their old parents under the care of the Ministry of Health which has been taking the responsibility of looking after the elderly for months or even years.
The sources revealed that nearly 25 elderly people have been admitted in the hospital for a long time after their children and relatives abandoned them due to a number of reasons. Some of them have been staying in the hospital for 3-4 years without anyone visiting or inquiring after them except on rare occasions.
They further revealed that most of them are Kuwaitis and GCC nationals, indicating the increasing prevalence of this phenomenon in many hospitals besides Adan Hospital. The sources clarified that some of these cases suffer from sicknesses that are neither contagious nor life-threatening. However, once they are hospitalized, their relatives deliberately leave them in the hospital for a long time, which in turn not only increases the burden on the medical teams and nursing staff but it also aggravates the existing crisis of insufficient number of hospital beds especially since the population has been increasing rapidly. They indicated that the ministry is currently facing embarrassment due to lack of solutions to this problem, as it is not allowed to expulse any patient from the hospital as per the ministry law.
They stressed the need for Ministry of Health, Ministry of Interior and Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor to hold meetings for finding solutions to this problem, either by transferring such cases to a different location or calling their relatives to take the patients home, adding that many of the relatives who abandon their elderly in the hospitals either give wrong numbers or intentionally do not answer the hospitals’ calls.