Students can find a better place than US

Readers express sympathy for the students affected by the US visa ban. Other topics: obesity, traffic jam, drinking water

Readers express sympathy for students affected by the US visa ban. Vidhyaa for The National

As an American, anguish is the only word I can think of to describe how I've felt the last few days (UAE students planning to study at top US universities forced to change plans, January 31).

I’m not even directly affected and I feel a burden on my heart. Students don’t deserve this kind of disappointment. They should find some other country that will acknowledge their talent and help them reach their goals. I am so sorry. And I’m rooting for them.

Katie Marie, Abu Dhabi

Consider the Netherlands. It has some leading universities, many courses are in English and society continues to strive for fairness. Nowhere is perfect, but it’s good to have countries that work towards fixing the problem rather than just exclaiming they are great.

Daniella How, Dubai

This reminds me of a time after the September 11, 2001 attacks when I changed my plan to study in the United States. I was in high school at that time.

Ahmed Alanzi, Dubai

As a US citizen I have to say that the travel ban is most certainly constitutional. For eight years, president Barack Obama used his executive power to circumvent the congress. Now that the Republicans are doing the same, why are they crying foul?

Steve Suttles, Abu Dhabi

Problem with obesity surgery

I'm in a similar position to the man in the story Surgeons come to obese man's aid for free (January 30).

I’ve investigated surgery and have been told it’s necessary and even urgent in my case. I’ve been told it would reverse my diabetes, hypertension, hyperlipidity, osteoarthritis and other comorbidities.

Nonetheless, although I’m insured and most of these conditions are covered, they will not cover the surgery because obesity surgery is specifically excluded. Hospitals and clinics take financial advantage of the obesity epidemic and lack of coverage and charge as much as Dh55,000 for the surgery (even when gall bladder removal, which is necessary at the same time in my case, has been approved).

As a teacher and father of three children, I really don’t have the money for a gastric bypass. It would be nice if there were more of these hospitals offering reduced cost or free surgery to those who could really benefit from them – even nicer if the authorities would force the insurance companies to pay for it when it’s deemed medically necessary as they do with Thiqa.

As it stands, hospitals are opening bariatric clinics left and right to profit on the misery of others.

D Glass, Dubai

Traffic jam is unacceptable

I empathise with Remraam residents' frustration with morning traffic delays (Residents of Dubai's Remraam area voice concerns over traffic, January 30).

For more than three years, my neighbours and I complained to our developer about the additional 40 to 60 minutes to exit our community in the Arabian Ranches. It was finally fixed in August last year and we now, mercifully, sail through, rarely waiting more than a minute or two. I can’t help but question if developers are adequately coordinating in advance with the RTA to plan for these things, as it seems that when all major developments come online and are occupied, their entrances and exits buckle under the strain. As do people’s nerves. We pay a lot for our properties and their management; we deserve better.

Elan Fabbri, Dubai

How to reduce sodium in water

Dr Ashish Bhatia said that tap water normally has high levels of sodium so it is recommended that people boil the water first and then let it cool before consumption (UAE doctors urge residents to monitor sodium content in drinking water, January 31).

This is not true. Boiling water actually increases sodium content, because some of the water evaporates as steam. Lower or zero-sodium can only be achieved through water distillation, which is not the same as boiling water.

Talal Fandi, Dubai