More reasons for Kuwait’s dismal survey result

Published:  5 Sep at 6 PM
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As part of Kuwait’s new expat-related restrictions, the emirate’s parliament health committee is considering bringing in a compulsory private health insurance requirement for visitors.

The latest in a series of xenophobic new rules, the health insurance requirement is to be fast-tracked through government procedures. Reasons given include a statement from officials that the high numbers of health tourists arriving for check-ups are causing Kuwaiti nationals to wait longer before being examined and treated.

Another clampdown at present underway involves expat advisers working with the Kuwaiti parliament, who are to be replaced by GCC or Kuwaiti nationals due to supposed misunderstandings caused by cultural differences between the lawmakers and their advisers. Over the past nine months, 20,000 expats have been deported, with a further 115,000 accused of violating residency and immigration laws.

According to another media report, the Kuwaiti government is highly critical of the InterNations survey which placed Kuwait as the worst country on the planet for expats. A government minister is reported as saying international human rights organisations have praised the country for its international standard workers’ protection rights, and a Ministry of Social Affairs team has been told to study the report and find InterNation’s reasons for its conclusions.

Meanwhile, lack of job security an career development prospects are forcing thousands of expatriates in Oman to find positions elsewhere in the world. Most affected are expats with masters’ degrees, highly qualified medical specialists and holders of higher diplomas. Mnay are leaving because their jobs are being taken over by Omani nationals, often with less experience and lower class degrees.

At the same time, the number of blue-collar expat workers is increasing, mainly due to the many smaller businesses being set up by Omani citizens. Experts believe the brain drain and accelerated Omanisation will eventually affect the country’s competitiveness and economy.
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