The Health Assurance Hospitals Company noted that, based on the percentage of progress made by the ‘Daman’ company, it has reached a stage where it is ready to receive expatriates who want to receive treatment at its facilities by the end of the year, but certain issues may force postponement.
According to a local Arabic daily the actual operation of the hospital is still theoretical, although it is linked to a specific date. Confirmation of this depends on the ministries of Health, Interior and Public Works as well as the Public Authority for Manpower and Kuwait Municipality due to a set of measures, without which it would be running on time.
In principle, Daman has completed the logistical preparations to begin operations as of next December, as it has already opened 4 health centers during the last period, while the fifth is expected to open next month to complete with that the specified facilities.
As for the two hospitals, according to the sources, Daman has actually finished equipping them with a bed capacity of 330 each, despite the fact that the main target, according to the company’s bidding, is 600 beds.
However, it appears that the actual operation of the Daman system is not only related to the extent of the company’s preparations and the readiness of its structure, in practice, operating the system also needs to activate corresponding government procedures, while beginning the operations on schedule (in December) appears subject to disruption, until completion of what is required of the relevant government agencies.
Until this is achieved, the company will continue to operate its centers with the system of existing private sector centers, which receive all visitors for commercial purpose.
Perhaps the first crucial measure for setting the dates for operating the Daman is for the company to obtain the necessary medical licenses from the Ministry of Health for its employees in the medical profession, which includes about 400 employees – about 150 doctors and technicians and 250 nursing staff.
While the company has already signed contracts with medical employees from outside Kuwait, it is awaiting for approval, as it takes about a month for these employees to arrive and may extend for months depending on the ministry’s completion of the required license.
Meanwhile, also approval is required from Ministry of Interior and the Public Authority for Manpower, and also required to obtain work permits for the entire medical staff, and Public Works to link Daman hospitals with the main infrastructure services, such as connecting them to the rain and sewage networks, in order to ensure the safety of operation and logistical system.
Finally, the Kuwait Municipality is required to speed up the allocation of land for health care centers established within the expansion plan, a step that takes about two years, which requires moving on it early to avoid any disruption in the company’s expansion plans.
What increases the importance of achieving all of the above to begin operations is that the company’s officials plan to expand their facilities organically during the first five years, by raising the number of Daman health care centers from 5 according to the parameters of the bid brochure put forward by MOH to 15, after the practical study proved unrealistic for the five centers to absorb the expatriates at the five centers.
What is worth noting is that assuming the Daman hospitals begin operation at the end of next December, the health insurance system that covers expatriates from the government sector to the company’s centers and hospitals will not be a single shot, but rather gradual. The completion of the step will be in batches, with dates that will be determined according to the validity of their residence permit.