Bahrain doctors offer flu deal for illegals
By Mandeep Singh, September 1, 2009
Bahrain doctors are offering a 'don't ask, don't tell' deal to illegal residents who come forward for swine flu tests, a report said.
They hope to break the barrier of fear that could stop thousands of illegals from seeking medical help - with potentially disastrous consequences, said the Gulf Daily News report.
Patients will be tested and treated with no questions asked about their legal status, Salmaniya Medical Complex (SMC) infection control head Dr Jameela Salman told the newspaper.
'We are not interested in a sick person's legal status and will treat everyone as a patient, regardless of his or her nationality, religion or legal status. That is our job.
'Sick people should realise their life is more important. If treatment of a swine flu patient is delayed, it could be disastrous.'
She was speaking a day after Bahrain suffered its first swine flu-related death.
The victim was identified yesterday as 30-year-old runaway Filipina housemaid Jame Tamad Diale.
She died at the SMC on Sunday night, after being dropped off last Wednesday by a friend, who then vanished. She was registered as 'unknown' and treated under a temporary CPR number.
Dr Salman said officials were aware that many illegal residents may be too afraid to report to the hospital.
'While they have their own reasons not to come to the hospital, we would appeal to them to do so as soon as they feel sick,' she said. - TradeArabia News Service