By B Izzak
KUWAIT: MP Osama Al-Shaheen on Wednesday asked the ministers of health, commerce and finance about the “deliberate” delay in operating the Dhaman health insurance scheme for expats, although the company has been ready for a long time. Shaheen said the agreement to establish and operate a separate health system to deal only with expatriates in the private sector was signed in 2014, and although the hospitals and clinics are ready, the system has not been put in operation.
The lawmaker said the Health Assurance Hospitals Company (Dhaman) established its latest hospital near Ahmadi recently with a capacity of 332 beds, 21 Intensive care units and 14 operation rooms. Other hospitals and clinics have been ready for a long time. He said as many as 1.8 million expats will receive healthcare through Dhaman, in which government has a 24 percent stake, in addition to 50 percent to be subscribed by Kuwaiti citizens.
Based on estimates, the system would save the Kuwaiti public health system some KD 400 million. Shaheen asked the ministers why the government has not transferred the 1.8 million expats to Dhaman clinics and hospitals to reduce pressure on public hospitals run by the ministry of health.
He also asked why the agreement for operating the Dhaman hospitals and clinics has not been signed, although the agreement was approved by the state’s legal department, the Cabinet and the ministry of finance at least three years ago.