OP-ED

The Patients Groan Cheers Up Medial Brokers.

National Yemen
Written by Fakhri Al-Arashi

Fakhri al-Arashi

Whether you are a self-financed patient receiving medical treatment or the government or a medical insurance company sponsors you, medical brokers and few well-established hospitals and doctors will end your medical journey with bankruptcy and sometimes with death.

I recently visited an Arab country that many Yemeni patients travel to for medical treatment. According to the monthly spending of these patients, which exceeds hundred of thousands of dollars, Yemen with it is poor resources can build state-of-the-art hospitals with top-of-the-line equipment. Unfortunately, brokers will not let this happen because the dysfunction provides a great source of income for them.

The budget of President Hadi for his friends’ and relatives’, the Ministry of Defence, the Ministry of Interior, and cabinet ministers’ medical treatment has caused the bankruptcy of Yemen’s state budget. It is not just those four government organizations that have depleted the budget, but the 2011 revolution and recently Houthi fighters have been added to the list.

All this money was paid by the poor for the rich to get a better and happier life, while the poor Yemeni patients who travel for medical treatment end with begging after they sell property and spend their savings.

Like every country in the third world, including Yemen, it is the poor citizens who pay more for less. Health has turned into a profit business and no one is ready to listen to you if you do not have cash.

The medical business has also become a source for corruption. Even those who are in charge of their delegates they ensure the safety of their commission before the patient gets treated. The Yemeni government recently paid over $200,000 for one patient. If we assume that Yemen is sending 500 patients a year which is small number according to the daily flights, the approximate spending of the Yemeni government for the above individuals is $100,000,000. Of course brokers will not support the idea of building outstanding hospitals in Yemen, because they will lose their commissions from these cases. Is there any one to end this?

It is ridiculous to keep watching financial and ethical corruption while Yemen is begging Gulf countries to help Yemen avoid  financial collapse.  Between 20-25% of the total amount of these medical expenses goes back to brokers’ pockets. I feel sorry for those who lose their loved one to such an ugly business.