Govt must help remove obstacles facing ‘Dhaman’ company

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DHAMAN’s Ahmadi Hospital

KUWAIT CITY, Aug 17: The CEO of the Health Insurance Hospitals Company “Dhaman” Thamer Arab says Dhaman is a huge health development project that represents an effective partnership between the public and private sectors but requires serious government attention, reports Al-Rai daily. In a press interview, Arab explained that the project can no longer tolerate any delay after completing its operational requirements.

The government agencies, especially the Ministry of Health, must work on providing aid and support to remove the obstacles facing Dhaman in order to ensure the success of this development project, which will provide services to about two million residents, and positively refl ect on improving the quality of health service provided to the citizens. The segment of residents who will benefit from Dhaman services will not all move at one time, but will do so gradually, according to the expiry date of their residency. Arab highlighted some advantages that will result from the start of the operational phase of the project, most notably saving the State Treasury about one billion dollars.

He explained that for enrolling a resident, the employer, when renewing the residency or issuing a new residency, will apply through the Dhaman website to register his employees, obtain the Dhaman health policy and pay the fees, which applies to the resident who wants to register his family. Therefore, it is not required to register those who currently have valid residency. This means that the transition to the Dhaman system is gradual according to the expiry dates of residency, and large numbers will not be transferred at one time.

With the cooperation of the Ministry of Health, the company will carry out an awareness program in Kuwait. This awareness program will show a plan for the transfer of beneficiaries to Dhaman facilities, service delivery sites and the policies in place so that the process is carried out smoothly. At the same time, Dhaman will develop a vision for implementing the new fee collection mechanism in coodination with the concerned government agencies.

The company has signed a contract with the Spanish health provider Ribera Salud in this regard. The role of the partner is to support Dhaman in operating hospitals and health care centers, in line with the application of the integrated system model for maintaining health (HMO), which Dhaman is applying for the first time in the region. This model requires a global expert who has achieved success in its application. This comes especially since Dhaman will provide primary and secondary health services to about 40 percent of the population, with capabilities that are much less than their counterparts in the Ministry of Health.

The annual budget of the ministry is about KD 3 billion but the capital of Dhaman is KD 230 million. The employees of the Ministry of Health are about 66,000 while the number of employees in Dhaman is about 7,000 within a period of five years. The ministry’s primary care centers have more than 100 centers and about 5,000 beds in their hospitals, according to statistics. However, Dhaman will have 12 primary health care centers with 761 beds in their hospitals. Arab said, “The model according to which we work is based on the concept of reducing expenses. We therefore need a global operator with long experience in health management who can apply this on the ground.”

He referred to the identification and distribution of the Dhaman network, which was based on a study of the geographical distribution and population density of residents who are covered by the company’s services, either with regard to primary care centers or hospitals, adding that this was done with the cooperation of many consulting companies and using the database of the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI). Arab confirmed that the Public Authority for Investment is currently working with the concerned regulatory authority to allocate 50 percent of the company’s shares to citizens according to the bidding brochure, adding that, “We hope to fulfill all the requirements of the Capital Markets Authority and the relevant authorities soon for the benefit of citizens.”

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