Development

New Deal With China To Build Hospitals

Ahmadi and Jahra governorates will soon inaugurate a hospital each with capacity for 600 beds. This is a deal with China Metallurgical Group Corporation or MCC, which the Health Insurance Company of Kuwait (Daman) penned down just recently. The deal is reported to be worth $530.85 million and the hospitals will help to serve all insurance paying expatriates of the two regions. At present, nearly 70 percent of Kuwait populace is made up of expatriates.

These hospitals will be operational by end of 2019. Dr. Ahmad Al-Saleh, a board member for Daman gave a speech on the day of the signing ceremony and promised that the MCC would conduct maintenance, equipping, construction and design work on both the hospital sites. This is the beginning according to him as Kuwait has a much larger plan of overhauling the healthcare system in the country. At present Daman as a company provides healthcare insurance to expatriates, which is not the same as those given by the government to Kuwaitis.

The hospital will meet international standards in both medical and architectural prowess, and will be well equipped with the latest in electronic engineering – from commercial vacuum sealers to xrays. The design of the hospital inside and outside will rival those across the glob. In fact, there is talks that the company may pen yet another contract for a third hospital down at Farwaniya though this may simply be an extension of the existing contract between Daman and MCC.

Daman as a company has a relatively short existence. In fact, it was set up through a Cabinet resolution in 2014 and is actually a joint venture between the private sector and the public. The starting capital provided to Daman was $759 million along with grants of lands to build hospitals. The government of Kuwait plans to shift away treatment of all expatriates to them thus removing public hospitals from the responsibility of dealing with foreigners. The public hospitals will remain exclusive to Kuwaiti citizens. However, with the signing of this contract, it is believed that the annual health insurance costs for expatriates will increase to around KD 130 from the previous KD 50, but only after both hospitals are operational.

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