My hospital experience in the Middle East

Disclaimer: I just wanna share about my experience of seeking medical attention in the middle east’s hospital.

So I had a contionous abdominal pain, a stab like pain, for 3 days straight and went to the hospital on the third day because it gotta be something when it’s not gone by itself for that period of time.

I went to the hospital and got the number to wait. After 20 mins of waiting, they called my number and I got into the doctor’s office.

I told her briefly, I spoke pretty loud I must say, the symptoms I had. Pay attention to the fact that we both wore masks and facial shields, also her accent was strange to my ears, and she probably thought the same about mine, and the masks clearly didn’t help me to read her lips.

Then she asked me “When was your last period?” and within 5 minutes she handed a paper for me to bring to another Doctor and do the blood and urine test and also USG straight away because the doctor will be gone in 10 mins. And told me to ask the receptionist on where to go.

So I went to the receptionist and gave her the paper, and she told me “You can’t do the USG now because the doctor will be gone soon.”

And I said “That’s what the doctor in that room told me to go straight away before the other doctor is gone. She told me to ask you where should I go.”

“Okay I will give both doctor a call to confirm.”

The receptionist them called the first doctor I just met and it was confirmed that I need to go to another doctor asap. So then she called another one to make sure the doctor was still there.

“I’m sorry maam but the doctor won’t be available tonight. You can do it tomorrow.” She said.

I was pissed, because if the first one told me to do it straight away means something has to be examined soon yeah? So I said “Then why would the first doctor told me to go straight away because the doctor will be gone if this can’t be done tonight?”

and she answered “Because the doctor is a male.”

I mean, I was in pain and I don’t have doctor’s gender preference so of course I would take my chance on whoever was available. So I told her “I don’t mind any gender.”

Then she said “but the doctor didn’t want to see a female patient. You can come back tomorrow there will be female one standby.”

BOOMMMMM… the bomb dropped. That’s the problem then. We got time and expertise on my case, but we just don’t have the match gender to perform such examinations. So the receptionist told me to go to the lab to do the blood and urinal test.

I did the blood and urinal test and by 8pm and the lab woman told me to come back by 8:45 to take the results.

I went to the hospital with the whole squad (sis, bro and 7 months old nephew) waiting in the car because mate it’s a hospital visit, this time of the year, it was not an ideal trip. Baby shit himself so much and we didn’t bring him another clothes so we had to leave.

We came back the next arvo with a better preparation on the baby stuff. I took my blood test results and brought it to the receptionist and she booked me a number to go to the gynecologist to do the USG. It was a painful, nearly two hours long wait for a 15 minutes checkups.

And guess what??? the doctor was a male. A goddamn male. I was like, what the hell? so what was the deal with the doctor last night? But this doctor also asked me when was my last period so I assumed this has something to do with ladies stuff. I was diagnosed with PCOS years before.

I got the result after a 5 minutes wait and once again the doctor’s assistance told me to go to the receptionist and booked a GP meeting.

So I went to the receptionist to book another meeting with a GP. I had to wait another 20 mins. And when I got in, voila, another male doctor’s.

He read my results and do another examination of the abdomen and found out that I got IBS, irritable bowel syndrome. Then he warned me not to eat couple of stuff, including, any spicy food for the next two weeks. Which to me was a torture, not a death sentence but still really bad.

He gave me the medicine list to purchase at the pharmacy outside and wished me well soon.

I’m now on my third day of medication which also means the 6th day of being sick and I feel much better than the first three days.

But still, I don’t get it why the doctor would do such things as not seeing an opposite gender. Because then the hospital has to provide doctors of both genders to standby at all times to prevent this happening again right?

I mean imagine if I had a car crash instead of abdominal pain and the only doctor in the ER was a guy and refused to see me because I was female. I would probably be dead, straight up.


  1. Well it happens in this part of the region and sorry to know that you had to go through so much of tantrums and also with your nephew during the visits.
    its a very common site here with hospitals and we are just so used to it after being raised here all my life and three decades in this region. There are reservations in this sector unfortunately and we cant help it. However if you had gone to a ” A Band ” category hospital you wouldn’t have faced such issues and it would have been a very smooth ride , just that you would have had to shell off a few extra cash but its totally worth it.

    you must be gone to a hospital chain here which caters to all sectors and and such words for receptionist is a common site ” the doc is leaving, not on duty, TOMORROW INSHALLAH” well its like those words are chiseled out there on all the pillars of the hospital.

    Healthcare is not at its best here and people flock out of the region to get better treatment which makes the medical tourism industry booming.

    There was a ambitious project in plan to cut down people spending money out of the region for such services by setting up a state of art modernized hospital project with and all star facilities in Salalah a decade back funded and backed by an American investment company but its never took off since they had to face revolt with the locals in Salalah and some of the tribes were against that. The project was called off with and buried.

    If you are still stuck in Salalah cos of the lock down( knew it from Interpals) , end of this month is the start of the khareef season and i think it is worth experiencing it all. The whole of the middle east will be down there but due to the virus it will be a quite one and you can experience the best of it.
    Have a safe stay and a safe journey back home . Didn’t know why my last comment was not posted so had to retype again.
    A plus tard!


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