Bu Keshma: Memories about Al-Salmaniya Medical Complex Emergency Told by Saudi National

2022-06-07 - 2:57 p

My Saudi friend recounted that his father suffered pain in his heart and chest 15 years ago, so he took him, along with his mother, to the emergency unit of Al-Salmaniya Medical Complex, and said that they were astonished by the way Bahraini doctors and nurses treated them. He went on to say that to this day if they want to add some fun to family gatherings, they remind their mother of how the nurses pampered their father. The mother says, "the old man couldn't believe that one called him dad, and the other called him Haji and uncle. He wanted to get sick everyday." The father replies, "Did you forget that you almost hugged the Bahraini doctor, old lady!" The mother then says "Yes, I'd hug him because he saved your life and took care of you."

My friend says, when I returned to Riyadh, in every place and on every occasion, I started to compare the quality of service offered by the national loyal to his work and his country, and give an example about the emergency department of Al-Salmaniya, where Bahrainis made up more than 85% of the employees, but now it seems that everything has changed. A few months ago, I was with my wife in Bahrain and felt severe pain in my back, side, and a shortness in breath. We called a taxi, whose driver was a Bahraini, to take us to Al-Salmaniya. We thought that we arrived at the suitable place. However, we knew that we were wrong when we were received by an Indian nurse at the tent. She asked my wife in English and then spoke in a poor Arabic language, "What's wrong with him?" My wife doesn't know English and so the nurse doesn't understand Arabic. The nurse only understood the body language of my wife. 

I said to myself that it's okay, they got an Indian national to do the routine job and left the technical job for Bahrainis because they master it. My wife put me on the wheelchair, which the nurse brought while saying some words that we didn't understand. She took me inside and I found myself in a place that resembles a popular market, not in Riyadh or Al-Hasa, but in Kerala, in the Republic of India.  First, 90% of the patients and reviewers were of Asian nationality, especially Bengali, and 95% of nurses were from Kerala state, and the dominant languages were Malayam and English, with head nodding.

I felt that my wife was confused. She found herself feeling weak and like a stranger in a sisterly Gulf Arab country. She thought, "Should I know English or Indian to understand these people?" We waited for a long time and the nurses talked louder than they continued working.

My Saudi friend went on to say that his wife called his brother who knows high level people who called to offer help. They reached the official who was Indian too. Then, two young Bahrainis came. They looked tired and exhausted from the load of work and pressure, or the way they felt among strangers. After that, an Indian doctor came (I am sure that he holds a false certificate) and said that I only have tightened muscle and that the pain will disappear with the painkiller, which slowly took effect to relieve my pain. I felt anxious about my health and sad for this hospital and Bahrainis as well. I quickly went to Al-Sharqiya hospital and was diagnosed with "hernia in the aorta". I underwent an urgent surgery that saved my life.

He then says, "I saved my life, but I still hear the cries of the patients, especially the sickle cell anemia ones and wonder what their fate will be? I regret my last visit and wish I hadn't done it so that the perfect picture would remain in my mind, and I feel sorry for the Bahraini youths, who are one of the smartest, most active and aware Gulf youths. I wonder why they are being left behind? For whose sake? The Gulf countries are recruiting their citizens, why isn't Bahrain doing the same?"

Bu Keshma only commented: Don't be surprised. You are in a wonderland. 

Arabic Version