Public sector Kuwatization to continue unchecked and on schedule

Published:  21 Mar at 6 PM
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Tagged: Citizenship, Jobs
Kuwait aims to replace all expats in public sector jobs with Kuwaiti nationals within the next five years.

MP Khalil al Saleh, head of the National Assembly’s committee overseeing the drive to get rid of expat workers, is determined to stick to the government’s plan to complete the process by 2023. According to al Saleh, some 800,000 expatriate workers are at present employed on official contracts in government public sector jobs, a number which represents 20 per cent of the total of government employees. Al Saleh’s comments came after a government statement suggested replacement of expat labor may not be complete until 2028.

Al Saleh is claiming a number of government advisors are purposely obstructing Kuwatization, and is assuring critics that Kuwaitis have enough qualifications to be able to take over from expatriate workers, although he believes they need more trust in their own potential as well as in administrations aiming to exclude expatriates from the employment marketplace. He’s convinced Kuwaitis can easily cope with jobs such as PC operators and programmers, administration research, data registration and educational services as well as more mundane positions as cashiers, warehouse staff, drivers, telephone operators and typists.

At the same time, during a debate on the establishment of a human rights commission, another Kuwaiti MP came out strongly in criticism of what he sees as a campaign against expatriates in the emirate. MP Adnan Abdulsamad stated the campaign is unjustified, adding the National Assembly should represent expatriates as well as citizens. It’s believed he was hitting out on a group of lawmakers headed up by female MP Safa al Hashem which has regularly slammed the expat community living and working in the country.

Meanwhile, data from Kuwait’s Mubarak Hospital suggests the increase in expat charges for healthcare has resulted in a decrease in the number of non-Kuwaitis requiring medical attention. Outpatient numbers have fallen considerably, spurring a decrease in waiting times for appointments to see specialists from around a month to a week or less. Patients referred from outside clinics can now be seen on a same day or next day basis. According to the hospital’s manager, staff do not discriminate between patients, with the casualty department still understaffed and needing more qualified doctors.
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