A large segment of Yemenis believe that doctors today seek to make the patient undergo many examinations and checks in their own clinics, or the clinics of their friends, with or without a logic health justification. Besides, the costs of these initial examinations and procedures are often many times higher than what they cost in public hospitals and government health centers.
The stages of frustration begin with the patient, when he loses confidence in the doctors and the accuracy of their procedures in view of their relentless pursuit of profit at the expense of his pain. However, large part of the citizens has opposite view and believe that the doctors are making tremendous efforts in light of the difficult circumstances that Yemen is going through due to the war that has been going on since 2015.
According to Mohammed Al-Jarbani (a pharmacist), the illness is the weakness point of the patient, especially when the issue is serious or related to his life, which forces him to go to the doctor, regardless of his previous conviction in the doctors, or his awareness of their greed. He noted that the exploitation of some doctors for this urgent need, has turned into a phenomenon subject to negative competition, without real and legal standards governing this field.
Thus in addition to the poor situation of the health and medical sector in Yemen and its deviation from its right path and goal for a long time, as some doctors put their interests above the values of the humanitarian mission that they are supposed to embody on the ground.
The matter went beyond the doctor’s exploitation of the patient, according to Al-Jarbani, by directly increasing the cost. Rather, it extended to making deals with pharmaceutical companies, in return for benefits that sometimes amount to about 30%, as the doctor refers patients and obliges them to purchase certain medicines or supplies, even if it was inappropriate.
Deterioration of living and lack of control
Khaled Al-Nahari, a pediatrician working for the Swedish Hospital in a rural area in Taiz Governorate, told "Khuyut" that the doctor's salary in Yemen is very low, and it is considered the lowest salary paid by a doctor in the world. Consequently, this may have an impact on the doctors' performance of their usual humanitarian role and their strive to serve the community, pointing to the suffering of the medical sector in Yemen, from the high value of medical examinations and the high cost of equipment, as well as solutions and medical supplies; most of these medical materials are sold only for a dollar outside Yemen. Moreover, Al-Nahari asserts that there are some inaccurate social views on the doctor as having a great financial income, and this is what deprived him of support, assistance and human sympathy.
Doctors in Yemen must possess a spirit of humanitarian initiative despite of the current difficult circumstances; Because everyone in the country is affected by the impacts resulting from the war and all are in one boat, so they have to more cooperative with the community.
It is noted that a large proportion of doctors employed by the government sector work at the same time in the private medical and health sector, and some of them own private clinics and hospitals.
According to Al-Nahari, the most significant thing in this regard is that the doctor shall never forget his humanitarian role, and that investment and commercial profit shouldn’t overshadow the service provided to patients. On the other hand, there is trading in this profession and in people's lives, and this is due to poor supervision by the competent authorities to confront corruption in the health sector. In addition to the absence of deterrence laws that oblige doctors to carry out their duties as required. Moreover, the weakness of societal oversight contributed to the deterioration of the medical sector, the decline in the performance of doctors, and the exaggeration of the medical mistakes.
Further, doctors and specialists in the health sector are calling for the need to put strict regulations on pharmaceutical companies, which played a major role in triggering the motives of wealth and greed in this sector by offering large percentages and bonuses, in order to sell their pharmaceutical goods which negatively affected the patients.
Private health facilities and hospitals are increasing significantly in Yemen, due to the almost complete paralysis of government health facilities, in addition to the possession of the medical sectors, private ones, the modern and advanced equipment and devices required by critical illness cases, in addition to the employment of an elite group of doctors and technicians specialized in their fields, something that pushes patients to prefer private health centers, even if they are obligated to.
Therefore, many citizens choose private clinics, for reasons related to the quality of services, care and follow-up that the private doctors provide to patients regardless of the higher costs.
Additionally, many doctors resort to adding medical departments such as their own laboratories and pharmacies, to be within the clinic, and thus the doctor has put all his capabilities to invest the situation and the nature of his work, and therefore the gains will definitely be higher because all analysis, examinations and medicines, are provided by these sections affiliated with his clinic or his hospital
Adnan Saif Al-Qadi (citizen), believes in an interview with "Khuyut", that doctors in Yemen must possess the spirit of humanitarian initiative despite the difficult current circumstances; Because everyone in the country is affected by the impacts resulting from the war and all are in one boat, so they have to more cooperative with the community.
He added that the ongoing war, the interruption of salaries, and the widespread phenomenon of poverty and destitution among Yemenis, have led to the spread of diseases and the deterioration of public health, which necessitates doctors to play an effective role in saving many of those in need for help same as the rest of the doctors in various countries of the world, who have voluntary humanitarian and moral initiatives.
In his talk to "Khuyut", journalist writer Abdul Qawi Shuaalan touches on the health sector, private facilities and the situation of patients after government hospitals were disrupted and the doctors of those hospitals moved to work in private hospitals. He started by telling the story of a female patient he met himself in Taiz who was suffering from lung infections, or perhaps she had a heart disease, as the catastrophe was that, after she went to a private hospital, her disease was not exactly diagnosed, due to conflicting statements; “Some say heart, and some say lung,” which caused her health to deteriorate further, and the same applies on a percentage of patients who have been exposed to medical errors as a result of wrong medical diagnosis.
In light of the chaos that sweeps medical facilities in the countryside and remote areas, and the neglect they suffer from, and the high costs of treatment in these facilities and in other facilities and hospitals that suffer from a similar situation in cities have caused the interruption of most patients from visiting doctors which leads to a worsening of the health status of most patients. Additionally, it contributed to the deterioration of most of the cases that could have been avoided, as a result of the inability of the majority of citizens, especially the rural ones, to bear the burdens of traveling to cities, purchasing medicines, or conducting the required expensive medical examinations.