Kuwaiti government mired in demographic issues as well as hiring expat nurses

Published:  8 Nov at 6 PM
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Kuwait’s Nursing Association has slammed the emirate’s Health Ministry over its hiring of 200 expat nurses.

The new nursing employees were recruited from a local medical company, with the Ministry being accused of violating its own rule issued on 5 July this year. The rule forbade the recruitment of non-Kuwaiti nursing staff from local sources, with the only exceptions being qualified nurses who’d received their degrees from Kuwaiti universities. The hiring of the expat nurses was described as a major scandal amidst accusations of profiteering.

In addition, a storm seems to be brewing over ministry shares of health insurance fees due from insurance companies but not yet collected. The backlog stretches back to 2008, with the Ministry of Health failing to form the necessary committees to allow the claims to take place.

Meanwhile, the emirate’s manpower authority has confirmed its decision to ban expats under the age of 30 years even although they may have higher degrees and diplomas. The rule also bans the amending of degrees to a higher level unless the holder has left the emirate, with both bans to take place from 1 January 2018.

Kuwait’s National Assembly is still concentrating on proposals to amend the country’s huge demographic imbalance between expats and Kuwaiti nationals. The Financial and Economic Affairs committee is now reviewing proposals to set quotas of each individual expatriate nationality. A previous proposal along the same lines had suggested a 10 percent cap on all nationalities, restricting expats for each country to one-tenth of the Kuwaiti population’s total of 1.4 million.

However, the allowable 140,000 expats per nationality is already exceeded in many cases, with Egyptians having some 700,000 in addition to Bangladeshis, Filipinos and others. It seems the Kuwaiti government is having similar problems to certain Western countries as regards the composition of its cabinet, with tensions escalating following a no-confidence vote against acting Information Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammad al Abdullah al Sabah.

A good number of lawmakers supported the motion, after which the government resigned and the Prime Minister was asked to form a new cabinet. British expats couldn’t help but hope a similar situation might develop in their home country.
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