Deal signed with China to build 2 expat hospitals
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