Poll: Why do Arab leaders prefer to be treated in foreign hospitals?


Isn’t this an intriguing phenomenon? I would have thought that it’d be very embarrassing for a president to be rushed outside his country to a foreign medical institution in order to receive treatment. What would that say about the state of the health sector in said country? Mubarak has been rushed to Germany to have a benign tissue removed in a gallbladder surgery and, back in 2005, our very own Bouteflika was rushed to our arch-enemy France to be treated for a gastric ulcer.  What is it with the digestive system of Arab leaders? Must be the stress of ruling such thriving economies! There are many possible reasons why Arab leaders prefer sojourning in foreign health establishments, but which according to you is the most likely?

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10 thoughts on “Poll: Why do Arab leaders prefer to be treated in foreign hospitals?

  1. It is hard to make a choice as I think all the options fit!
    But the question is interesting. If we consider Algeria, it’s not only the president but all the people in the system and their families (I can mention Boutef’s brother, Zerhouni, or Belkhir).

    I remember when, some years ago, the EHU of Oran was opened, it was supposed to have state-of-the-art equipment and best doctors, so Algeria would stop sending patients abroad. The EHU is not 100% ready yet, but the state has drastically reduced the number of Algerian patients sent abroad. Obviously, members of the system are under another regulation.

    I have two other questions:
    Since the rulers are treated abroad, spend their holidays abroad, send their children to foreign schools, and put “their” money in foreign banks, why don’t they just go live there and save themselves (and us) the hassle?
    And what about the secrecy around the rulers’ health? Two weeks ago, rumours started about Bouteflika or his brother’s death and both had to deny it buy posing next to Zidane. And yesterday new rumours started on Mubarak’s death. What does this tell us on the different regimes’ institutions?

    • I know yeah MnarviDZ! It’s like a (mafia) movie isn’t it; I mean the secrecy around the rulers’ health/ death reminded me of The Godfather (the movie), when Marlon Brando was basically dead and they kept it quiet for fear of a backlash from the other clans, until they decide between themselves on who should take over (they ended up persuading his son Al Paccino to take over).

      Actually, now that I’ve written this, I realized that everything about Arab rulers’ regimes is mafia-like! I should have added ‘because they’re a bunch of mafiozi’ to the poll options shouldn’t I?

      But they also exhibit what I shall call ‘the complex of the immigrants’; who keep going on about how great their home country is whilst doing everything they can not to have to live there. As the British right wingers say about Muslim immigrants: “If you like it so much, why don’t you go and live there!”

      That’s another feature of Arab rulers (and even people), all talk and no action, feel-good slogans and get-out-of-here-as-soon-as-you-can actions! I mean, it’s stupid really, because they seem to not have realized that this is the age of information and that they have to modernize their propaganda techniques. Either that, or they truly don’t care and carry on lying through their teeth, sorry dentures, as if there’s no tomorrow!

      It looks like parody but it is real! One doesn’t quite know whether to laugh or cry.

  2. Good question! All the reasons you cited above are likely, and I have some more:

    They are attention seekers, they want attention in their countries and abroad

    Send a message to their people that their illness is very serious and hence it warrants “special caring hands” which cannot be found locally

    Gain sympathy, so that their people will stop cursing them and instead pray for their quick recovery

    To test their popularity, be missed, and on their return be greeted with zerdas

    If they died abroad, they would be considered martyrs; their people would treat their death with suspicion (poison!) and would believe that they must have been great people, otherwise the west would not have thought of getting rid of them!

    I have always wondered why our rulers are never embarrassed about their failure to properly govern their countries; I would expect them to feel incompetent in the presence of rulers of developed countries!

    • Good bunch of possible answers you’ve come up with there Pandora!

      I have always wondered why our rulers are never embarrassed about their failure to properly govern their countries; I would expect them to feel incompetent in the presence of rulers of developed countries!

      Yes, isn’t it weird? We must come up with some psychoanalytical explanation for this, the sooner the better!

      I remember that Bouteflika went to France shortly after Algerian politicians were going on about France needing to apologize for its colonial crimes (including accusations of genocide)! Apparently, Bouteflika fell out with the medical staff at the Parisian hospital he attended however [can’t remember where I read this]. I think that he staged a fight with them to dilute the embarrassment (if the story is true that is).

      French right-wingers were secretly pleased however, as this was a golden opportunity for Le Pen to unleash his hatred. He is reported to have said to RMC radio: “I don’t understand very well what this gentleman is doing coming for treatment by the terrible colonialists that we are”.

      A bit unimaginative as a statement, but factually blameless.

  3. It simply and implicitly reflects a clear gratitude to the western medical potentials and capabilities, some may say, the day we see an Arab governor treated locally for what so ever, the day we enter the modern world from its largest gate. I think this sensibly reveals where we are! This is our true size!

  4. Read this. Reminded me of the captures the Cuban television showed to prove Casto was still alive. And LOL at “وأضاف صفوت الشريف أن الرئيس مبارك بصحة جيدة للغاية وأنه في كامل وعيه، كما أن قدراته تدهش الأطباء“.

  5. May be they should transfer El-Aqsa Mosque too. It would make many people happy: themselves, the Muslims too as it would be saved, and Israel who doesn’t want it in Jerusalem.

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