Dr Riyadh A Khan, an Indian doctor in Kuwait, said that expat doctors worked shoulder to shoulder with their Kuwaiti counterparts to revive the Kuwaiti health sector post-invasion by Iraq, Trend reports citing Devdiscourse.
"Expat doctors worked shoulder to shoulder with their Kuwaiti counterparts to revive the Kuwaiti health sector. After the invasion, we were given the chance to revive it, resuscitate it, breathe new life into it," said Dr Khan.
Chatting in a guest show with Radio Kuwait, Khan shared his experiences pre-invasion and post-invasion of Kuwait. He came to Kuwait in 1980. Describing the health sector of Kuwait, he said, "When I came here, Kuwait was blossoming. It had an ambitious health plan. Many new hospitals had opened like Zahra, Adan, and many others were opening. Two main hospitals were Al Ameri and Al Sabah. Since my specialty was in Sabah hospital, I joined Al Sabah. A year later they opened the Ibn Sina hospital for neurological diseases, so I moved in from Sabah to Inn Sina."
He also said that Kuwait was the state in the area to have the best health infrastructure. "Kuwait had a head-start in the medicine field. We invited the leading lights of neurology-- Prof Paullus, Prof Brewin, a lot of leading names, international specialists to come to give lectures, see patients and train them. A lot of activities were going on here. We were like large families of medical teams. We knew each other very well," said Dr Khan. He later assumed the role of Chairman of Ibn Sina Hospital. Sharing his experience of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait on 2 August 1990, he said, "I can divide those days into pre-invasion and post-invasion. Pre-invasion days were marvellous in Kuwait. It was the epicentre of health. No other surrounding countries were as advanced as Kuwait in the medical field. Emirates was nothing, neither Bahrain. Doctors from there use to come to our weekly meetings in Kuwait for Neurology and they were all trained here."
"Post-invasion we were really affected. We were suddenly uprooted and thrown into the wilderness with no future. We waited for nearly two and a half months thinking that things will settle. We couldn't and we left and then the liberation came and we actually celebrated the liberation of Kuwait in Chennai," said Dr Khan. Talking about his return to Kuwait, he said that he received a phone call from Kuwaiti Health Ministry in May.
"Then in May, I received the phone call from the Ministry of Health: Come and start your department. Those were the times oil-fires were going on. We came back in very difficult times. We started from scratch, there was nothing in the department. Everything was looted. We had no infrastructure, only the buildings were there. We had to slowly rebuild the department. Gradually, we have evolved and evolved and came to this stage," said Dr Khan. Thousands of expatriates live and work in Kuwait providing valuable services, some of them life-saving. Dr Riyadh Khan is one of them. A brilliant neurologist, he has been actively involved in building up the Department of Neurology at the Ibin Sina Hospital since 1980. In these last four decades, he has also played the role of Chairman.
He established the Kuwait Neurological Society in 1986, organized symposiums, and represented Kuwait at the World Congress of Neurology. A Former President of the Indian Doctors' Forum, he was awarded the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation Award in 1998 for his outstanding service to the community. This episode of The Guest Show by Radio Kuwait is a tribute to the outstanding contribution of Indian and expatriate medical professionals to Kuwait.