Peo­ple’s Con­cerns About Pri­vate and Pub­lic Hos­pi­tal Ser­vices

Peo­ple com­plain about the long wait's and the poor qual­ity medicine at govern­ment-run hos­pi­tals, mean­while, the pri­vate hos­pi­tals are crit­i­cized for hav­ing higher costs.

The Kurdish Globe - - FRONT PAGE - Er­bil sal­i­has2006 @gmail.com Salih Wal­ad­bagi

For many years, govern­ment-run hos­pi­tals have served as most of Kur­dis­tan's pop­u­la­tion. They of­fer med­i­cal ser­vices and still work to pro­vide med­i­cal treat­ment to the peo­ple across Kur­dis­tan. These days, pri­vate hos­pi­tals of­fer high-qual­ity med­i­cal ser­vices with semi-in­ter­na­tional stan­dards, but their costs are high.

"I had a kidney op­er­a­tion, and I feel bet­ter now. The hos­pi­tal is com­fort­able. All the med­i­cal ser­vices are good, but the prices are very high. Some poor peo­ple like me can­not af­ford that much. My cousins, a busi­ness­man, helped me with the costs," said Ab­dul­baqi, a pa­tient at the Zheen In­ter­na­tional Hos­pi­tal.

"The stan­dards and qual­ity of the hos­pi­tal are very high. I think its ser­vices are very close to the neigh­bor­ing coun­tries' hos­pi­tals," said Dr. Aso Nuri Jal­izada, a spe­cial­ist in ears, noses, throats, and heads of Zheen In­ter­na­tional Hos­pi­tal.

Pa­tients vis­it­ing Zheen are reg­is­tered in the hos­pi­tal's com­puter sys­tem, and is­sued an ID card and as­signed a room.

"One of the most im­por­tant char­ac­ter­is­tics of the hos­pi­tal is that our chief nurse and head nurse came from abroad un­der spe­cial con­tracts. They have been work­ing for many years in Western coun­tries," said Dr. Jal­izada.

Ahmed Ali, a pa­tient at the govern­ment-run Riz­gary Hos­pi­tal has a dif­fer­ent opin­ion. "I know the nurses are very good peo­ple, but they don't per­form their real re­spon­si­bil­i­ties. They just give us medicines and in­jec­tions now and then. While their tasks are to look af­ter the pa­tients, give us the right dose of med­i­ca­tions, help us to eat and drink and other tasks."

Riz­gary Hos­pi­tal is one of Er­bil's main hos­pi­tals. It was in­au­gu­rated Dec. 31, 1984 and since then has pro­vided health ser­vices to those from in and around Er­bil. The hos­pi­tal has 493 beds.

"Pa­tients get treat­ment, at Riz­gary Hos­pi­tal, un­der the su­per­vi­sion of Kur­dish spe­cial­ists. The pa­tients come to Riz­gary ei­ther af­ter they have been seen by doc­tors at lo­cal health cen­ters or ad­vised by their per­sonal doc­tors to visit Riz­gary Hos­pi­tal to get treat­ment," said Dr. Sir­wan Dar­galayi, Di­rec­tor of Riz­gary Hos­pi­tal.

Zheen's nurses are from In­dia, the Philip­pines and other coun­tries. "They have worked at an in­ter­na­tional stan­dard. They help our lo­cal nurses who are new and do not have ex­pe­ri­ence," said Dr. Jal­izada.

An­other im­por­tant dif­fer­ence be­tween Zheen and govern­ment-run or other pri­vate hos­pi­tals is it has mod­ern in­cin­er­a­tion equip­ment to dis­pose of med­i­cal waste. This helps pre­vent pol­lu­tion. Dr. Jal­izada says the hos­pi­tal has brought new tech­niques and pro­ce­dures to Er­bil. "We are pi­o­neers in med­i­cal treat­ment in Er­bil."

Dis­crep­ancy be­tween peo­ple and hos­pi­tals

"Un­for­tu­nately, peo­ple do not co­op­er­ate with the ad­min­is­tra­tive staff of the hos­pi­tal. They dis­obey most of the reg­u­la­tions," said Dr. Dar­galayi. The same prob­lem oc­curs in Zheen. "Peo­ple bring food and chil­dren into the hos­pi­tal. This is 100 per­cent against our pol­icy," said Dr. Jal­izada.

A pa­tient who vis­ited Riz­gary for med­i­cal treat­ment says it is a two-sided coin. The first side is hos­pi­tal and the other is peo­ple. While state hos­pi­tals have prob­lems, peo­ple don't help to keep the equip­ment run­ning and the hos­pi­tal clean, noted Dr. Dar­galayi. He says peo­ple should try to raise their health aware­ness and help pro­tect ev­ery­one else.

"If peo­ple had bet­ter health aware­ness, we would have fewer prob­lems. Peo­ple should have pro­tect and main­tain the med­i­cal sup­plies at the hos­pi­tal," said Dr. Dar­galayi. "We have signed a con­tract with Hiway Gal Com­pany, which will clean the hos­pi­tal. The clean­ing com­pany has been do­ing the job as well as it can."

Medicines

Peo­ple claim Riz­gary Hos­pi­tal's phar­macy doesn't work well. Dr. Dar­galayi says there are mis­un­der­stand­ings be­tween the doc­tors and the phar­macy. While the doc­tors have a list of medicines avail­able, they still pre­scribe med­i­ca­tions the phar­macy doesn't have- this leads peo­ple to blame the phar­macy.

Peo­ple com­plain about the cost of medicine at pri­vate hos­pi­tals. "The qual­ity of the medicines is of a high stan­dard. For ex­am­ple, peo­ple can pur­chase a parac­eta­mol [ac­etaminophen] out­side for only 250 Iraqi di­nars, while the same tablet is 1,500 Iraqi di­nars here. So the dif­fer­ence is in the qual­ity, not any­thing else," said Dr. Jal­izada.

A physi­cian treats a fe­male pa­tient in a pub­lic hos­pi­tal in Er­bil, cap­i­tal of the Kur­dis­tan Re­gion.

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