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Kuwait’s dispensaries overwhelmed as students flock for medical leave

Waiting queues extended beyond the outer walls of certain dispensaries due to a noticeable shortage of reception staff and the lack of a clear mechanism to handle the large numbers

  • The clinics were unable to cope with the immense influx of visitors due to the widespread absence of students from schools

  • While the crowding crisis extends to multiple dispensaries, nearly halting operations, at some dispensaries, the number of patients exceeded 350 during the evening, all waiting for their turn.

On Sunday night, the clinics faced challenges as hundreds of students and their parents rushed to seek medical leave for school absenteeism. Auditors were present to ensure that the medical services were specifically for Sunday and Monday.

The clinics were unable to cope with the immense influx of visitors due to the widespread absence of students from schools. Students and their parents were eager to justify their absence, especially as the Ministry of Education was closely monitoring the situation and working to address it. Some schools had opted to schedule tests for students over the two days, leading to a rush for medical leave certificates by everyone involved.

Waiting queues extended beyond the outer walls of certain dispensaries due to a noticeable shortage of reception staff and the lack of a clear mechanism to handle the large numbers. At some dispensaries, the number of patients exceeded 350 during the evening, all waiting for their turn. Meanwhile, Ministry of Health officials were notably absent from the scene.

This issue, occurring prior to official school holidays, raises concerns about how clinics handle the problem, particularly its recurrence throughout the school year. This situation raises doubts about its impact on actual patients and the overall quality of healthcare services, which are fundamental aspects of the government’s agenda.

Regarding the inability to manage overcrowding leading to workflow disruptions within dispensaries, health sources have indicated that “instructions were issued to activate and implement regulatory procedures aimed at avoiding such situations. These measures prioritize genuine patients, although the specifics of these procedures and steps have not been disclosed. The health system must take necessary actions to prevent the problem from recurring in the future.”

The sources emphasized “the need to activate electronic sick leave as one of the solutions to address the issue.” However, they viewed this as only part of the solution, with the primary challenge being the high rate of student absenteeism and delayed studies in the days leading up to vacations or during the intervals between official holidays. This situation calls for cooperation among relevant parties to develop a comprehensive solution to the problem.

Regarding the inability of dispensaries to handle the situation, the sources mentioned that the overwhelming number of students and parents visiting was an exceptional occurrence that surpassed the dispensaries’ capacity. They acknowledged a flaw in the mechanism for obtaining sick leave, particularly since the student visitors initially did not require medical consultation. They criticized the process of students seeking medical care when they are in good health.

Five reasons for the dispensary crisis

  • Insufficient reception staff
  • The lack of a clear organizational mechanism to handle students’ medical care
  • Absence of instructions from officials in the ministry
  • Failure to activate electronic medical leave for students
  • Inability to provide medical care for a healthy student who does not require consultation

Overcrowding paralyzed workflow

The crowding problem was not confined to one or two dispensaries but extended to several, given the similarity of reasons that caused workflow confusion, nearly bringing operations within the dispensaries to a standstill.



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