Healthcare in Kuwait

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Adan Hospital. Photo: Julia Chodor

I got a new experience in Kuwait. No one wants to gain this one but sometimes you cannot avoid it. What do I mean? I’m talking about health and health services.

My the youngest needed a vaccine. I took her to the „ministry clinic”. Only there, kids can get a vaccination. We came, I show the passport (girls and me, we are still on tourist visas). I was told to go to the vaccination room. We did not wait in a queue. My sweetheart was vaccinated. I paid nothing. After the vaccination, the nurse told me to go to the pharmacy to get a paracetamol for the little one. I went and I was given the paracetamol. Guess what, I paid nothing for it.

Later during the day, my little sweetheart got a rush. It happens sometimes after the vaccination. So I went back to the clinic. The doctor examined the little one and directed us to the hospital. In a midtime, nurses put some gel for allergies on the little. And guess what…. yes, exactly we paid nothing. I remind you once again, we are on tourist visas.

Ok, we went to the hospital. Like all hospitals, it was big and crowdy. Without much of waiting we managed to do everything, The little one was registered, examined, given medicines and prescription. And guess what, yes, exactly, you are right.

The only thing we needed to pay for was the drugs on the prescription. For 4 different medicaments, we paid KD 5 (USD 15).

I must say that health service in Kuwait works fine, there is really not much to complain about.

Comparing to my experience from other countries. The health care is really good. It is even a little better than in Spain, but the Spanish one is also very good. The Polish healthcare is way behind, and the US healthcare system I will not even mention.

What I really like about healthcare in Kuwait and Spain, that it is for free if you live in a country. You do not need necessary to work, living is enough. I like the approach that it is better to prevent than to cure and the costs are lower.

So, dear US government, next time when you decide to change other countries political systems, think, that maybe in this non-democratic country with nationalized business, actually the money earn on oil is designed to the inhabitants, not to the great oil companies. And have in mind that your citizens pay high taxes and get nothing in return. The people in Kuwait do not have to pay taxes and still they have good public healthcare.

Brexit 2016

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Mini Morris painted with a British flag. Photo: Julia Chodor


When I listen about Brexit, I always laugh how tricky the history is. Brits had commonwealth outside their island for so long. Now they have commonwealth inside their island.

On June 23rd, British will decide if they want to leave the EU hoping that this will save them from:

– lack of sovereignty,

– introduction of new stupid laws, like carrots are fruits and snails are fish,

– immigration,

– abuse of benefits.

I am afraid they are wrong. Leaving the EU structure will not help Brits in any of that issues.

I am afraid the Brits do not realize in what world they live in.

Any international treaty the UK signs will limit its sovereignty. Staying within EU structure, where the UK is still strong, gives it better negotiation position.

In other words, under the EU the UK have to accept some stupid laws, but without the EU the UK will be forced to implement even worst laws as it will have weaker negotiation position.

Leaving the EU will not protect the UK from refugees and immigrants. The UK will be forced to take refugees under the international law anyway. The immigration will not stop. All the migrants that are already in the UK will stay there. And right now, just before the referendum, there is a great influx of new migrants. People wants to be in the UK before the boards will be closed so they can stay there legally.

Abuse of benefits – as far as reports shows in 2014, 4.9 million (92.6%) working-age benefit claimants were British while only 131,000 (2.5%) were EU nationals. The number of recipients from outside of the UK — but not from the EU — was 264,000 (5%). Tax credits – 3.9 million (84.8%) families receiving the benefits were British citizens, 302,000 (6.4%) were EU citizens and 413,000 (8.8%) were from outside of the UK. I guess Brits should think over it and stop lament. Leaving the EU will not change these numbers all of the sudden.

Leaving the EU will not really change any of the above, but for sure, will hurt the average British. Why?

– He will not be able to move freely around EU.

– He will not be able to buy a house in Portugal as he used to. He will need special permits.

– His driving license will not be accepted – will need the international one.

– British students studying abroad, will not be able to work.

– British students will have to pay more for studies.

– The prices in stores will rise as duties and taxes will be applied to all products from EU.

– Britsh companies will be less competitive on the European market, again, because of the duties and taxes they will have to add their prices. This means a drop in income, in production, and layoffs.

– And the last but not least Brits will be stuck with their old cars because Poles will not buy them anymore. Extra duties and taxes will apply. The prices of used cars will drop.

Again, when people should unite to fight systems and new stupid laws, instead, they choose to fight each other over benefits abuse that does not really exist.

Too hot

Next topic – weather in Kuwait. Kuwait is a city in a desert, next to the sea.

I repeat it again. Kuwait is in the desert, do not miss that, this it is a desert. It is not Miami Beach with palms growing at every corner. Yes, there are palm trees here, but you need to water them if you don’t do this, they simply die.

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
A palm. Photo: Julia Chodor

It gets hot here. The temperatures can rise above 50 C (around 120 F) in a shadow. It is normal.

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
50 degrees. Photo: Julia Chodor

There are sandstorms here. Sandstorm is when lots small grains of sand surround everything. It looks like a mist and it is a mist, but made of sand, not water. When the sandstorm comes in the afternoon it is getting hotter by 10 degrees or so.

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
The sandstorm in the evening. Photo: Julia Chodor

When it comes at dawn is a blessing. It is a big cloud that stops the Sun’s rays. It is colder than it supposes to be.

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
The sandstorm in the morning. Photo: Julia Chodor

Sometimes it is raining. Then everything turns green, well if you grew up on north you would not call it green, just less gray, but people here consider this color green, never mind.

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Rain. Photo: Julia Chodor

Summarizing – it is hot here. Thanks to the engineers for the air condition. They also should look for some solutions how to make the tap water colder. At the evening, it is too hot to take a shower. Probably it would help to install boilers in basements, not on roofs. But I guess you need an engineer from Europe to figure that out.

Now you know what the weather is in Kuwait, and you also know the view I have from my apartment. The one in Sapin was much better.

In the park

We found a nice park not far away from home. It’s hard to believe it is in the middle of a desert.

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Photo: Julia Chodor

Quo vadis, Americae

Oh yes, the great US, after a months-long campaign and millions of dollars spent on convincing people the other candidate is worse, finally has two candidates for president. I mean legally there still some things need to be done, but we can be almost sure that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump will fight for the presidency of the US in November. I wish them good luck, and also good luck to the people of the US.

What makes me laugh the most, but it is a laugh through tears, is that the US secret service is afraid to give these two candidates a brief on national security because they both are not trustworthy.

Quo vadis, Americae? Looking at Netanyahu’s recent frequent visits to Moscow, I guess, my friend would say, rats abandon a sinking ship. Well, I would not say that, but the quality of Isreal’s secret service is well known and probably they know something that we don’t.

Well, we will see what the future will bring, I am not a fortune-teller.

First day of Ramadan

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
An empty canteen at the lunch time during Ramadan. Photo: Julia Chodor

Today is the first day (2016.06.06) of Ramadan. In non-Muslim people minds’ pop-up just one thing, for 30 days Muslim cannot eat or drink during the day. Of course, Ramadan means much more, but I will not go into religion as I am not competent. I will write a little about how it looks like because Ramadan changes the rhythm of the day.

The first thing that has attracted my attention in the morning when I went outside, was a very small traffic. No people on a street, almost no cars, it felt like a Sunday morning.

The second, the guards in a front of the building did not smoke and drink water. In Kuwait, during the Ramadan, not only eating and drinking is prohibited but also smoking or chewing gum. What’s more, your religion does not matter. Everybody has to obey Ramadan law otherwise, you will be jailed. Although there are few exceptions. Kids under 10 do not have to follow the rules. Pregnant women or during the period, chronically ill. Also, if you are Christian or Hindu you can eat and drink whatever you want at home, but not in public. The idea behind this is simple, do not annoy others, who cannot eat or drink.

So, if you work in Kuwait, you cannot smoke, drink or eat during the working hours. Forget about that – the canteen is closed. But there are some positives. Most of the people work just 6 hours a day instead of 8 or 9. So like my husband, he left to work at 6 am and will be done at 12. The rest of the day we can spend together. I just wonder if he is happy about this. Maybe he would prefer his normal hours from 8 till 5, umm…. I do not think so.

Most of the Muslim stay long up during the night and wake up late. Therefore, most of the businesses start like 10 or even later. Restaurants open in the afternoon only for take outs, until the sun sets. Then the city will come alive. There be people on the streets, in the restaurants, sitting, eating, drinking, they will stay late and enjoy their life.

Happy Ramadan

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
An empty canteen at the lunch time during Ramadan. Photo: Julia Chodor

The last day of school

Today is the last day of school, so Girls wear fancy dresses.

Is it globalization when a European living in the Middle East, sends her kids to the Hindu school and describe this all in English?

Julia Chodor Chodorowska
The last day of school. Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
The last day of school. Photo: Julia Chodor
Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Regular school outfit. Photo: Julia Chodor


Julia Chodor Chodorowska
Photo: Julia Chodor

Few days ago I read about British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond visit in Saudi Arabia.

He said few interesting things. First that the UK stood ready to cooperate with Saudi Arabia to carry out the plans outlined in the Vision 2030.

“We see a number of areas in which the UK could play a strong supportive role,” he said. “We have probably the world’s best capital markets in London and as companies are privatized or partly privatized or new projects and public-private partnerships are launched, London can play a crucial role, both in terms of restructuring and financing those entities.”

He also said Britain had considerable experience in educational reform. “And educational reform will be at the center of delivering Vision 2030.”

So generous, I felt like to throw up. Why? Let’s have a look from the historical perspective.

Are Britsh so generous people? In my opinion, they are one of the cruelest nations. Let’s start with child migration. “Between 1618 and 1967 probably around 150,000 children were sent overseas to begin new lives in British colonies. Child migration to the colonies was consistently presented as an appropriate method of coping with the large numbers of unsocialised, undisciplined, neglected or orphaned children, and those who were simply the children of the poor, crammed into British towns and cities. Britain is the only country in the world with a sustained history of child migration. Only Britain has used child migration as a key part of its child care strategy over four centuries.”

Another group that was sent to colonies is prisoners.

The second thing is the conquest of territories that are today’s the US. You do not have to read much, just open your eyes to figure out which conquest was crueler – British or a Spanish and Portuguese. At the end in South America people mixed and are called Latinos now. There are still wild tribes there. While in the US, the majority is white and do not really mix with any other „race”.

Next chapter is slavery – but let be fair. Birts did not invent it. They were among the others nations. I am just afraid they are the most famous slave traders.

The last thing that comes to my mind are the concentrate camps organized by the Brits during the  Second Boer War (1899–1902). Again, they were not the first ones. According to the historian Władysław Konopczyński, Russians established concentrate camps for Polish people during the Bar Confederation rebellion (1768–1772). But Brits had to try this one too.

So yes, in my opinion, Brits are not generous people at all – but one thing is true, they have good PR and good music.

So back to Mr. Philip Hammond visit in Saudi Arabia. When I read about the UK being ready to help Saudis, I just wonder what the catch is.

The sentence “Even if the oil prices were to recover, it makes immense sense to diversify the economy in order to ensure resilience” worries me.

Why? British Petroleum (BP) few decades ago was sucking out the oil from the Middle East almost without paying. Are they willing to do this again? The Saudi government will focus on budget income diversification and BP will steal oil industry again.

This is why when I hear Brits speaking about oil, help in privatization and the world’s best capital markets in London – well it does ring a bell in my head.


Cluster bombs

Just a brief comment to the radio news I have heard in the morning while driving kids to school. In the Middle East the weekend is on Friday and Saturday. Sunday is a normal, working day.

The news: White House has quietly placed a hold on the transfer of cluster bombs to Saudi Arabia. You know, the cluster bombs that were banned by an international treaty in 2008, just the democratic US and the peaceful Russia forgot to sign it.

Why has the transfer been held? Well, reports say that the weapons were used and it also killed civilians – How that happened? I have no idea. I thought that weapon is sold to be placed in museums and that is so unusually that civilians die during the fights. What do they still do there, anyway? They all should be gone a long time ago. Pack your staff and move to Europe. People you are an obstacle in doing business.

It is the same like Syrian fighters US training program. Officially the US wanted to train fighters against IS. But it did not work, so then it was decided just to give weapons and other equipment to the fighters.

Suddenly we read a headline that Pentagon-trained rebels handed weapons over to Jabhat al-Nusra, al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria.

So, yes we think poor, betrayed US Pentagon. The whole program appeared to be one big failure. The US wanted to help end the war and that is why they put more weapon on a battlefield. This is how you do when you want to finish the war. You supply fighters with new rifles.

So I think the real plan worked just fine. The fights are keep going.

What is more beneficial, war or peace?

– War is an excuse to be present in another country.
– War makes money.
– Under threats of war, you can introduce new laws, that gives you more power.

And the peace ….? What are advantages of the peace?