Saturday, December 01, 2018

Repatriation of bedridden patients in UAE still a hurdle

Dubai: To repatriate a bedridden patient is a significant concern for expatriate residents across the UAE. Though much has been spoken and written on the challenges on repatriating mortal remains of individuals who have died in the UAE, procedures to repatriate bedridden patients continue to be less-known and discussed.

Failing to have the right information about the procedures has led many into more delay, stress and costs. Naseer Vatanapally, a social worker who specialises in repatriating bed-ridden patients to families and care centres in India, said the biggest challenge is re-homing the patients.

"I've worked on countless cases of repatriation. The main problem I faced was that many families don't want their kin back. Most of them belong to low-income families, and there is no one to take care of them. The patient becomes an additional burden," he explained.

"In some cases, there is no way to pay hospital bills and the patient remains stranded for several years."

Khaleej Times, to develop readers' awareness, spoke to a group of social workers who tirelessly work towards repatriation of bed-ridden individuals.
01/12/18 Dhanusha Gokulan and Ahmed Shabaan/Khaleej Times

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