Health care services should be efficient and effective to deal with all the patient illnesses. The medical care system ought to be advanced and able to treat all kinds of diseases. The following paper indulges on my field experiences in our tour to two hospitals in Madrid.
Did any aspects of the field experience surprise you?
Various medical aspects of Spain, health care system, surprised me due to the difference between Spain’s hospitals and Kuwait’s health care facility. First, the two hospitals had modern facilities that could handle almost all medical issues. They also had a modern technology that was used to establish the cause of illness, ease the treatment process, and enhance the quality of life for the patients. For instance, the hospitals were equipped with life support machines that enable the doctors to prolong the lives of terminally ill patients. The second aspect that surprised me was the high number of old people in wheelchairs in the hospitals.
It was very surprising that the hospital could accommodate all old people brought to the hospitals by their families. The hospital provided them with wheelchairs either since most of them could not walk due to their old age or because they were ill. Food and shelter were also provided to them at a lower cost. Families and friends were allowed to visit and bring them flowers. Thirdly, the large numbers of qualified doctors and nurses in the hospital also surprised me. Both hospitals had enough health practitioners to deal with all the patients. In all the hospitals, the maternity wing had enough nurses and machines to deal with all the pregnant women who visited the facilities. According to the hospital records, there were minimal fatalities for pregnant women and newborn children. Medical data storage in the hospitals was also very efficient. Patients’ medical history was stored properly in the hospitals’ computers, which enabled easy access and retrieval of information ones needed. I was also surprised by how fast both hospitals treated the sick; this led to small queues and little waiting time. The pharmacy section had all types of medicine, ones treated by the doctor a patient was to collect medicine at the hospital pharmacies, which were stocked fully. People from different nations came to the hospital pharmacies to buy medical drugs.
Why did those aspects surprise you?
The reason that I was very surprised by the above aspects is due to the medical system difference between Kuwait and Spain. Before the visit, I had not seen such sophisticated medical equipment. The health care facilities in the country lack technological advancement. For instance, most cancer patients have to wait for days before they get their medical results unlike in Spain where the cancer is quickly identified and treated. Medical technology in Kuwait’s health systems is inadequate due to a lack of enough funding from the government. In addition, most hospitals in the country are understaffed hence delaying the time for medical treatment. The sick have to wait for long hours in the line to seek medical attention. Some illnesses such as spine injuries lack qualified personnel to treat them; those with such illnesses are referred to U.S and Germany for further treatment. However, in Spain, the two hospitals have trained doctors and modern technology that enables them to deal with all medical problems. Furthermore, the two hospitals have invested a lot in research and development to enhance their ability to handle all types of diseases. Kuwait hospitals have not invested in any medical research since most of the nurses and doctors are unqualified. People who wish to seek specialized treatment have to visit other hospitals in different countries.
I was surprised by how the old were treated in Madrid hospitals since; in Kuwait hospitals, they are not factored into the Medicare system. Kuwait’s health care facilities are poorly developed and equipped to support such services. Families have to take care of the old in their homes rather than take them to hospitals where they can get personal help from the doctors and nurses. Due to the lack of enough nurses in the hospitals, hospitals can’t accommodate the old in society. In addition, the government is yet to develop policies that will help the elderly gain more health care support than they currently do. For instance, there are no government insurance plans to enable them to access medical care at a cheaper cost. The aging population requires constant medical checkups and treatment since they are prone to diseases. Most expectant mothers and newborn babies die in the country due to a lack of proper health care facilities that will enable them to deal with pregnant women especially where surgery is required. In addition, the lack of enough staff in hospitals compromises the government efforts to deal with the rising number of death of pregnant women and children under the age of five. There are no life support machines in the country, making it impossible to prolong the lives of terminally ill patients. Inadequate technology has reduced the quality of the medication that our hospitals offer.
Considering that the state is a third-world country, the health system can’t be efficient in handling all the diseases. The reason I was surprised by the pharmacy is that it was fully stocked, and all patients received the medication they required no matter the type of illness. In Kuwait things are different, most hospitals lack medicine. Patients are forced to buy drugs in private hospitals, which charge higher than the public. Some drugs are impossible to find in Kuwait; patients in dire need of such drugs have to wait as they place orders in hospitals or travel to countries such as Germany or United States to purchase the drugs. In some cases, hospitals lack medicine for basic treatment due to government procurement issues that delay the purchase of drugs. Kuwait hospitals should improve the medical services by ensuring that the drugs in hospitals are sufficient to serve everyone in the country. In addition, hospitals should have drugs for all types of diseases, this will enable patients to access medical drugs at a close reach.
How does the field experience inform your understanding of bioethics and/ or health care?
The field experience was crucial for me since I understood the importance of an efficient health care system regarding the improvement of quality of life. For people to benefit from hospitals, a country’s health care facilities need to have modern technology and enough staff to cater to the sick. Technological advancement in the medical field improves the quality of life for the patients since; it allows quick disease identification and treatment. Spain hospitals have invested more in developing the quality health care services provided by hiring qualified doctors and improving their technology. Hospitals need to have the skills and competencies to deal with any illnesses that a country’s population faces. Kuwait needs to improve its health care facilities and enhance medical training, research, and development. This will enable all those seeking medical treatment in the country to access it at a closer reach rather than going to other countries. Bioethics requires that medical services should be easy to access for the patients. Ease access to medical drugs is essential to society as it ensures that the patients do not unnecessarily suffer from treatable illnesses. The government should also ensure that it has ordered drugs before the current stock is over.
Health services for the old are crucial since the elderly are prone to diseases. For a health care system to be efficient, it needs to consider the well-being of the aging population. During the field experiences, I was able to appreciate this fact after seeing how the Madrid hospitals were well equipped to support the old in the society. The government needs to develop a proper mechanism that will improve the quality of life of the elderly, which will, in turn, improve the life expectancy for the population.
How did it affect me seeing all the old people with wheelchairs moving around the hospital?
Seeing the old people in the hospital made me realize the fact that one day we will all die. The hospitals in Madrid provided the old people with an efficient health care plan that improved their quality of life. Medicare enhances the quality of life for the elderly and relieves families of the burden of personally taking care of the aging. When I saw the old in wheelchairs, I realized that death is a reality and that all of us will one day die. I started questioning myself what could happen to me if I were one of the old patients in the hospitals. What could have happened to me now that am from Kuwait, where there are no health care programs for the elderly? Could my family take care of me, and what kind of life would I live? It was a frightening situation since I came to realize that if I were to get old as the people we saw I could not have the proper care. I feel sorry for my country and me since if nothing changes people will continue to suffer for lack of efficient health care plans.
All health care stakeholders in the country need to improve the health care policy to factor in the aging population in the country. The aging population in Spain has no problem since the government takes care of most of their medical issues. Schools should train nurses and doctors on ways of helping the old to leave a comfortable life in their last days of life. Hospitals in Kuwait also need to improve their equipment for instance; the hospitals should purchase life support machines and provide wheelchairs for the old who cannot walk. Seeing someone who is almost dying due to old age is frightening, but after seeing how the doctors in the hospitals treated them, I was sure they would die a peaceful death. Life is valuable for everyone; hence, it is necessary to safeguard human life through all means possible.
The old cannot take care of themselves due to bodily weakness and sometimes lack money to seek medical attention. Therefore, it is the role of the government to make hospitals accessible to all and care for the old. One day too I will get old, and I wish that I will have access to the best health care in Kuwait, I hope that during my elderly days the medical care system will be better than today. In addition, I hope that hospitals will have invested more in technology such as life support machines to alleviate patient suffering.
In conclusion, the field experience was crucial for me since I was able to learn how developed countries run their medical care systems. I understood the need for adequate medical services in a country. Kuwait needs to improve its health facility by increasing the use of technology and improving the skills and competencies of the doctors. It is a sad fact that the country is unable to take care of all the patients due to inadequate technology and expertise of the physicians and nurses. The state should hire more nurses and doctors to improve the present conditions where the medical industry is understaffed. Modern medical technology has enhanced the quality of life and medical procedures in hospitals that have invested in the new machines. The aging population in the country needs to be taken care of to improve their quality of life. It was a traumatizing experience to see old people with wheelchairs moving around the hospital knowing that it was their last phase of life. If the state improves, the health sector people will seek medical treatment locally rather than traveling to U.S and Germany for medical care.