x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

A costly clinic?

Service fees slapped on property owners in Dubai is an underreported problem that deserves greater attention, one reader writes. Other letter topics today: weak punishment for men who beat pregnant woman, questions on cost of Cleveland Clinic, and building better roads.

Recent coverage of expanded health care at Cleveland Clinic, pictured in an artist's rendition, missed essential points, about long-term financing and staffing levels, a reader says.
Recent coverage of expanded health care at Cleveland Clinic, pictured in an artist's rendition, missed essential points, about long-term financing and staffing levels, a reader says.

I must congratulate you on a wonderful coverage of the problems of service fees and other charges faced by tenants and owners of apartments in Dubai (Residents lead charge against fee rises, January 30).

In this context I wish to invite your attention to one more community, Sky Courts, located in Dubai off the road to Al Ain.

The developer at Sky Courts has appointed a "cooling service provider" even though there is no district cooling in the vicinity.

We were handed our apartment in July 2011 after a delay of over one year. The apartment was not occupied until January 2012, when it was rented out by us.

But in December 2011 we received a bill from a local utility in the amount of Dh1,061 for consumption and capacity charges.

In our sales purchase contract there is no such provision for any such service provider. More over, there is no district cooling plant located anywhere in the vicinity.

Matters have been brought to the attention of the Dubai real estate regulatory authority by a large number of tenants, but so far, no action has been taken.

Clearly, the cases The National has already uncovered are only the tip of the iceberg.

Iqbal Maladwala, Dubai

Punishment does not match crime

"Justice" means that society accepts that the punishment meted out fits the crime for which the criminals are convicted (Jail term for attack on pregnant women, January 31).

Laws are merely the written form of a society's agreement about norms of acceptable behaviour. Laws do not prevent any action; they merely define what is legal versus illegal.

So what is a reasonable punishment for the beating of a man and his pregnant wife to the point of potentially serious harm to the unborn child? Were the suspects in custody that whole time or were they out on bail? What is the nature of the jail they will be incarcerated in for a month?

My conclusion: there was a criminal act, there was a trial and there was a conviction. But there was no justice.

Tom Pattillo, Canada

Is this fair? An adult man beats up a pregnant woman and receives one month in jail. A 15-year-old teenager kisses two girls, apparently with their consent (Detention for boy, 15, who kisses girlfriends, January 30), and he may now be detained for three years?

Jessica Heid, Dubai

Hospital's opening not entire story

I read Monday's Business section leading article ($2 billion hospital for Abu Dhabi next year, January 30) and could not help but feel a bit disappointed about the missed opportunity to critically evaluate Cleveland Clinics' stature.

Three points come to mind.

First, how is it possible that a hospital could be built at five times industry construction cost benchmarks (industry sources indicate that $1 million (Dh3.67million) per bed the is rule of thumb cost for a premium quality hospital)?

Second, if the hospital costs this much how much would its operating costs be versus other hospitals in the Health Authority - Abu Dhabi (HAAD) system, and is that fiscally sustainable to Abu Dhabi finances over the next 20 years?

Third, irrespective of construction cost, design or equipment, a hospital typically is only as good as the physicians, nurses and technicians that it employs. Given HAAD's difficulty in attracting and keeping high-calibre personnel, how will Cleveland Clinic get around such issues? Could Cleveland have its own salary scale and perks or will they need to fit within HAAD's compensation framework?

All in all, it appears that The National has grabbed the wrong end of the stick with its coverage, choosing to cover the hype rather than the practical challenges that such world-class facilities face.

Muneef O Tarmoon, Abu Dhabi

Road plans benefit from technology

For capacity expansion, new roads like the one planned between Dubai and Abu Dhabi are urgently required. But as your story notes, expansion alone is not enough (New Dubai-Abu Dhabi road 'may not solve all problems', January 30). Such roads must have at least two exclusive bus lanes or high occupancy vehicle lanes, and two rail lines (one for freight, one for passengers).

Roads should also have modern intelligent transport system, including variable speed limit signs. Speed limit for enforcement (including grace allowance) should be kept to 120kph.

Name withheld by request