Annual medical bills for expats total KD 595 mln
Public Authority for Manpower affirmed that serious efforts are ongoing to implement 100 percent Kuwaitization in governmental sectors, and gradually replace expatriates working in administrative positions in the private sector with citizens at a rate of ten percent annually over a period of ten years.
During an interview, directors of functional skill analysis and planning departments at the authority affirmed that the authority is aiming to organize the labor market of Kuwait and set technical standards for various jobs. They revealed that there are nearly 1.8 million people working in the private sector but only 73,000 of them are Kuwaiti citizens.
Meanwhile, the economic researcher Mohammad Ramadan revealed that the state spends about KD 595 million per year for the medical services offered to expatriates even though only 6.8 percent of expatriates work in the public sector.
On the other hand, the state spends KD 773 million for the medical services offered to Kuwaiti citizens, reports Al-Qabas daily. He indicated that discussions are ongoing to offer better medical services to citizens without them having to suffer from congestion in hospitals and outpatient departments.
Ramadan said changing the equation requires change in the employment contracts in order to ensure health insurance costs are covered by employers in the private sector. This will be reflected on the market as employers will increase prices in general in order to compensate the medical insurance costs of their employees, which will in turn negatively impact citizens.
However, he said this is a reasonable price to attaining better medical services. He revealed that 106,000 citizens visit hospitals on a yearly basis compared to 51,000 expatriates. The number of visits to outpatient departments is 2.5 million by citizens and one million by expatriates, as per 2015 statistics.
Ramadan lamented about the shortage of beds in hospitals in Kuwait compared to the population. He said there are just two beds for every 1,000 citizens. This rate is quite low compared to other countries such as Japan which has 13.7 beds for every 1,000 citizens, South Korea with 9.4 beds for every 1,000 citizens, Germany with 8.2 beds for every 1,000 citizens and United States of America with 3.1 beds for every 1,000 citizens.