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Kuwait expands health sectors, spends more money

Kuwait faces no major problems in the health sector and has increased financial allocations for this expanding sector, a visiting official stated yesterday. Addressing the 64th annual World Health Assembly, Dr Khalifa Al-Sagaabi, in charge of the ministry planning and follow-up department, spoke extensively about the state financial allocations for the sector, noting that the ministry budget, in 2008-2009, posted a 2.8 percent surplus.

Health care problems are among priorities of the country’s development schemes and spending on these programs is forecast to grow 8.6 percent per year, between 2009 and 2014, to $ 1.37 billion, he said, adding that the authorities planned to establish hospitals for the medically insured residents and implement the health insurance program, already in effect for the expatriates, for the citizens.

State health expenditures, in 2009, amounted to KD 910 million, and rose to KD 1.02 billion in 2010, he said, indicating that much of the money had been spent for the construction of more health care centers that rose from 82 last year to 92 in the end of last March.

Number of dentistry clinics increased from 215 to 246, during the same period, and the figure of the dentists climbed from 1,068 to 1,214. The overall number of nursing staff grew from 14,638 to 16,107, and the laboratories from 72 last year to 102 this year.

Number of beds at public hospitals rose 26 percent, compared to six percent at the private hospitals. Dr Al-Sagaabi affirmed that the ministry policy is designed to upgrade the services, indicating in particular at usage of smart cards for facilitating information exchange between Kuwait and the other the GCC states, and applying international standards in the electronic health services.

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