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Kuwaitization of doctors may face difficulties
KUWAIT CITY, Aug 13: While the Ministry of Health implements a replacement policy, in accordance with the provisions contained in the Civil Service Bureau Resolution No. 11/2017, at the level of the occupational groups included in it, statistics indicate that the localization of medical jobs, especially doctors, takes years, and that solutions are almost intractable in the foreseeable future, reports Al-Rai daily. In the context of enhancing reliance on national elements of medical competencies, health sources confirmed “the Ministry of Health has approved a number of measures in an attempt to reduce the recruitment of doctors from abroad, including an increase in doctors accepted in various specialties of the Kuwaiti Board by more than 50 percent, compared to previous years.
These include a substantial expansion of the intake of doctors across diverse specialties, surpassing previous years by more than 50 percent and even reaching up to 200 percent in certain programs. Additionally, recognition is given to holders of the initial portion of the Kuwaiti and Saudi boards, equivalent to those with master’s and diploma degrees. Furthermore, British fellowship certifications are now considered for promotions among Kuwaiti doctors, including those with Kuwaiti mothers, as well as former bedoun who obtained these certificates prior to Ministerial Decision 306/2018 for direct recruitment of doctors from the offspring of Kuwaiti women and the ongoing enhancement of doctors’ rights and work environment are also pursued. Despite these efforts to harness national resources optimally, statistics suggest that the re-localization of doctors remains a complex challenge with elusive solutions in the short term.
The current landscape entails there are approximately 6,000 non-Kuwaiti doctors in the public sector, compared to about 4,000 Kuwaiti counterparts. The disparity widens significantly in the private health sector, wherein around 500 Kuwaiti doctors serve in contrast to more than 3,500 non- Kuwaitis. In the same context, the sources saw that “the need for non-Kuwaiti doctors in the government sector may diminish somewhat with the near operation of the Health Insurance Company’s hospitals, and the transfer of a segment of residents estimated at two million people, but this does not mean closing the door to contracts with foreign doctors, especially With the aforementioned segment continuing to receive specialized services in the Ministry’s facilities.
The ministry emphasized that “the need for foreign doctors continues for a long time, for reasons most notably the limited numbers of Kuwaiti graduates compared to the expansion of the health service, as well as the successive opening of new health projects and the imminent delivery of others, in addition to the lack of national elements in some medical specialties, especially the rare ones.”
The ministry highlighted six measures to enhance dependence on Kuwaiti doctors — increasing the number of doctors accepted in the specializations of the Kuwaiti Board by an average of more than 50 percent compared to previous years; increasing the percentage of those accepted into some specialized programs of the Kuwaiti Board, by up to 200 percent; equating the first part of the Kuwaiti board with a master’s degree. This is in addition to equality for those who obtained the first part of the Saudi board, similar to the Kuwaiti board, with those who obtained a master’s degree and a diploma; direct employment of Kuwaiti doctors and continue to support doctors’ rights and improve the work environment.
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