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Kuwait MOH has surplus nursing staff compared to global rates

‘Issue at Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital has been resolved’

Dr. Basel Al-Sabah

KUWAIT CITY, July 22: Minister of Health Dr Sheikh Bassel Al-Sabah said the number of nursing staff in the ministry’s facilities is sufficient and has a surplus in comparison to the global rates, reports Al-Rai daily.

The minister explained that the rate is 3 nurses for every 8 beds while the global rate is one nurse for every eight beds. In response to a report in Al-Rai on the possibility of a nursing crisis at the Mubarak Hospital, the minister said the issue at the Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital has been resolved and that the company supplying the nursing staff has requested a renewal of the contract for 50 percent increase in the volume of employment, which was rejected by the ministry, so the company has amended its terms and accepted the renewal of the contract under the same conditions.

Dr Bassel said that the ministry is considering direct contracting with the nursing staff, in coordination with other concerned bodies, which will give hospitals greater stability with these important technical workers who play a major role in completing the hospitalization of patients.

The minister pointed out that the ministry is also considering the demands of the nursing body to adopt the overtime as the case with doctors; which will in turn provide more numbers for re-distribution to benefit from them in other workplaces especially with the ministry’s new openings.

In order to ensure the proper functioning of the medical facilities, the Assistant Undersecretary for Technical Affairs Dr Abdul Rahman Al-Mutairi held a meeting recently with heads of departments at the Mubarak Al-Kabir Hospital. Medical sources told the daily the expansion of privatization of the nursing sector sometimes leads to adverse results, calling for a return to the expansion of appointment of the nursing staff.

The sources expressed regret that the Civil Service Commission did not provide the ministry with the necessary degrees for the appointment of the nursing staff, which obliges the ministry to sign contracts with companies at higher costs.

The sources pointed out that the alternative plan to address the shortage in the number of nursing staff depends on the expansion of additional work, and focus on the training of nurses appointed in the ministry with continued efforts to fill any potential shortage especially in sensitive areas such as pediatrics or intensive care.

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