An Open Letter to Dr. Svatopluk Němeček
Minister of Health of the Czech Republic
Dear Dr. Němeček,
My father Dr. Hayder Ibrahim – a Sudanese writer and sociologist – has fallen sick while visiting the Czech Republic and was hospitalized at Homolka hospital for an urgent heart surgery. He is a prominent intellectual and university professor with more than 20 published books, and who dedicated his life writing and fighting against dictatorship and fundamentalism in my country leading to the ban of his cultural centre in Sudan and his exile for most of the past two decades.
When my father was hospitalized, the predicted costs were less than 650,000 CZK. The amount has almost tripled now, reaching over 1.6 million CZK and likely to climb even further as he is still expected to be hospitalized here for about two more months. As we were not able to provide such a large amount, the bulk of the payments came through a heartwarming fundraising campaign led by his readers and friends ( https://gogetfunding.com/hayder-ibrahim-surgery/ ).
We understand that in normal circumstances, people have insurance to cover such situations. But they also normally come from countries with systems that provide such services and with governments that don’t alienate and exile their most educated people. Nothing in our situation is normal – Our family understands that fact, Sudanese people around the world understand it, your doctors understand it, even your administration understands it but we ask for it to act accordingly.
My request is simple. We want you to use your authority, within the rule of law, to scrap these costs or significantly reduce them – the administration offered a 5% discount but this is insignificant given the situation and the spiraling costs so far (both direct and indirect ones).
The medical staff in the hospital have been spectacular on a personal and professional level, and we hope that the administrative side shows the same human approach beyond the rigidity of bureaucracy and rule books. The Czech and Sudanese people are worlds apart but – as we saw repeatedly in our daily interactions in the hospital – there is still the significant human ground that goes beyond language and nationalities. I hope you embrace it and respond positively to this open letter.
cc @ZdravkoOnline @SlavekSobotka