Friday, October 2, 2009

Do You Know Anyone ....

I am upset right now , when I should be happy . Our newest grandson was born this afternoon at Jallal hospital , here in Tripoli . This is the main government maternity hospital . Our daughter in law went into labor last night . Our son took her there to be admitted since this is where she was registered . Evidently if you are registered with one hospital , you will not be admitted to another . I am not sure if this is true or not but this is what we were told at the other government hospitals that accept maternity patients .

She was taken in , examined , found to be in labor . Other obvious signs of eminent birth were evident,then she was told to go home. They told her to come back," when she was in too much pain ".It was 3 a.m. in the morning . Luckily our son was still in the lobby downstairs and even luckier , he was able to find a taxi at that hour of the morning .

BUT WHAT IF ... he hadn't been there ? What IF she had been there all alone? Would they have thrown her out onto the street ? In Labor ? Sounds preposterous doesn't it ? Do you know the reason WHY they sent her home without first doing an ultra sound to check if the baby was ok and not in trouble ? Actually , in the entire nine months , she never received one ultra sound and she was sent to private clinics ( pay clinics) for basic blood work that should have been done in the hospital  for free. They didn't have enough beds. Enough beds. In THE maternity hospital . Half the population of Libya are women . More than 75% of THEM are of child bearing age . Again , I ask you , NO BEDS ?

Why didn't they send her to one of the other hospitals that take maternity patients ? They know the other hospitals will not accept her with out a paper from them. This they were unwilling to supply. A extremely upsetting LONG story short ... it took some one, that knew some one, to get her admitted( what they call here WHASTA or INFLUENCE ) in time to have her baby today . Thank Allah our daughter in law and baby are both well . Thank Allah we knew some one , that knew some one . And people this is not an isolated occurrence , sad to say . The horror stories you hear about really do happen . IN OTHER PLACES IN THE WORLD AS WELL , I AM SURE !!!

There are many specialized hospitals owned and run by the government here in Libya, most of them located in Tripoli . There is the tuberculosis hospital that no one in the West would even think of putting their sick dog in for any reason . I am not too sure when it was built, but quite awhile ago by the looks of it .When my son was there as a patient in 2003 there were open sewers running through the hospital even though the patients had no water in the toilet area .One can only hope things have improved since then.

The Sugar hospital for those with diabetes, has been gutted and supposedly under reconstruction . I haven't seen much of that happening this last year or so . I am not too sure where the majority of people here in Libya with diabetes go now for treatment and/or counciling ( ha, ha ) but probably to one of the main hospitals . I am unsure about that , but consider this, 1 in 3 people in Libya have diabetes. That is 1 in 3 . Most of the population . That is a lot of sick people.  Most patients are ill and hospitalized due to lack of education as to how they should manage their disease . 

Diabetes many times goes hand in hand with heart disease . That leads us to the Heart hospital in Tagura that in the last few years was given a face lift and revamped, so I am told . I have even been told that they have specialist come in from Italy now and then to consult or do difficult heart surgery's . Not too sure if that is true or not .Originally attached to it was a maternity/ pediatric hospital  .That may or may not still be there . I haven't heard anyone mention any babies being born there in years .I think they are referred to Jallal , the maternity hospital in Tripoli , maybe not? 

The two main all purpose general hospitals in Tripoli that provide comprehensive health care are both over crowed, as are all of the government hospitals. One of the main hospitals is so old , it was built by the Italians as a charity hospital way back when . It too has been renovated recently . I have been a guest there several times ; a long time ago when it still looked like something  from WW1, and recently very briefly before being transferred to TMC . It is a little better now , but not much, unless you have some sort of influence to grease the wheels, if not .... . 

The other main general hospital is Tripoli Medical Center ( Tuby) ,or as it is also known, TMC. It is a hugh hospital spread out over many acres of land . It is newer than the other hospital. They have all departments, as dose the other hospital I mentioned above. Both are teaching hospitals and provide general care to all  FOR FREE , which all government hospitals here in Libya do. 

This is a godsend , even if the care is lacking in many cases, since most people here in Libya can not afford the many private hospitals that are scattered around. And by the way , just because you can afford to pay an arm and/or a leg for care in these PRIVATE hospitals , it doesn't mean you are guarantied QUALITY CARE . They can be equally as bad as the alternative government hospitals. Many times if the disease or illness is too dangerous or difficult for them to treat , they will send you to a government hospital anyway .

A emergency triage hospital was built in the slum area . It is used mainly for the many horrible traffic accident victims , but other things as well . It is newish , so might still be nice . Not too much has been said about this hospital , it's services , or it's facility's . There are probably more specialized hospitals I haven't heard about . I think there is one or two facilities for rehabilitation .I have also heard of a burn hospital.

All these hospitals are state run and provided for . That is good . What isn't good is the general management,  the half trained doctors , NOT ALL OF THEM , JUST ENOUGH TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE. The lack of supplies , the " I don't care because I am A DOCTOR" superior attitude that many of the doctors have toward their patients ,here again ... NOT ALL DOCTORS BUT ENOUGH  to insult the intelligence of their patients or treat them as babies. 

I have to say this , when I was last a guest of TMC in May,  I over heard one professor telling his students to listen to what the patient has to say , to observe their face for signs of pain . I remember thinking now here is a intuitive doctor . Sad to say, many of his students were not paying attention to this valuable lesson. 

Last but NOT LEAST ... the horribly ill equipped and non existent trained nursing staff . The foreign trained nurses and a handful of Libyan nurses know their stuff. Once I watched as a Libyan nurse took my blood pressure . She wrapped the blood pressure cuff around my arm , pumped it up , listened to it with her stethoscope in her ears , as the other end that SHOULD have been tucked under the cuff dangled down in front of her , unattached . She smile confidently at me as she told me my blood pressure was normal when  I asked her for chuckles and grins what it was . I have high blood pressure . Can you believe that ?

OK , HERE IS THE DISCLAIMER ........  Sh-t happens everywhere, in all parts of the world, in ALL hospitals , WITH ALL DOCTORS . I know that . I have been in enough of  hospitals around the world to be a expert witness, trust me . You can always tell a good doctor , nurse , hospital , or staff , THEY LISTEN TO WHAT YOU SAY!!! They pay attention and most importantly .... THEY CARE !!! God bless the ones that do care !!!


on the edge said...

I am so sorry that I forgot to mention the Eye Hospital . It is actually a hospital that provides good care .

khadijateri said...

Well - the good news is that you have a new grandchild! Mabrouk!...

Libya is definitely not a place to be sick in.

abdullah SH said...