Deal signed with China to build 2 ex­pat hos­pi­tals

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE -

Kuwait’s Health In­sur­ance Com­pany (Da­man) has signed a con­tract worth KD 162 mil­lion ($530.85 mil­lion) with China Met­al­lur­gi­cal Group Cor­po­ra­tion (MCC) to build two hos­pi­tals in Jahra and Ah­madi gov­er­norates with ca­pac­ity of 600 beds each. The hos­pi­tals will serve in­sur­ance-pay­ing ex­pa­tri­ates, who ac­count for some 70 per­cent of Kuwait’s 4.4 mil­lion pop­u­la­tion.

The hos­pi­tals are to be ready to op­er­ate by the end of 2019, Dr Ah­mad Al-Saleh, Da­man’s board-mem­ber and chief ex­ec­u­tive, said in his speech dur­ing the sign­ing cer­e­mony, adding that the MCC would carry out de­sign, construction, equip­ping and main­te­nance works. Sign­ing the deal is part of the first phase of Kuwait’s plan to over­haul the health sys­tem na­tion­wide, Saleh was quoted by Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) as say­ing. Da­man aims to pro­vide health­care ser­vices to ex­pa­tri­ates sep­a­rate from those pro­vided by the gov­ern­ment to Kuwaitis.

The project is also part of the Kuwait’s devel­op­ment plan to pro­vide top world-class health­care ser­vices, Saleh said, adding that the new hos­pi­tals’ in­te­rior and ex­te­rior de­sign ad­here to the lat­est in­ter­na­tional ar­chi­tec­tural and med­i­cal stan­dards. Saleh did not men­tion

when his com­pany plans to sign a con­tract to build a third hos­pi­tal in Far­waniya as part of the plan an­nounced at the time of its es­tab­lish­ment. Da­man was es­tab­lished by a Cabi­net res­o­lu­tion in 2014 as a joint ven­ture be­tween the pub­lic and the pri­vate sec­tors, with KD 230 mil­lion ($759 mil­lion) capital. It was also granted land to build hos­pi­tals. Once Da­man starts op­er­at­ing its hos­pi­tals, the gov­ern­ment plans to shift treat­ment of ex­pa­tri­ates in Kuwait there, thus end­ing state-spon­sored health ser­vices of­fered for for­eign­ers at pub­lic hos­pi­tals, mak­ing those ex­clu­sively for Kuwaiti cit­i­zens. Fur­ther­more, Saleh had con­firmed two months ago that ex­pats’ an­nual health in­sur­ance fees will in­crease to KD 130 from the cur­rent KD 50 once the hos­pi­tals be­come op­er­a­tional. — Agen­cies

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