Dhaman CEO: Public-private health partnership integral to Kuwait Vision

KUWAIT: The beginning of operations at the Health Assurance Hospitals Company (DHAMAN) before the end of this year reflects the integrality of the partnership between the public and private sectors to the Kuwait Vision 2035 (New Kuwait), said an official yesterday. Dhaman Hospitals Company CEO Thamer Arab revealed in an interview that the Ministry of Health had pushed for the establishment of the company, which was viewed as part of the development of an integrated and high-quality health service in Kuwait.

He went on to say that Dhaman hospitals reflected a comprehensive partnership between the public and private sectors with the Kuwaiti government owning around 24 percent of the shares, while the private sector — through strategic investors — own 26 percent. The rest of the shares, at 50 percent, will be offered through an Initial Public Offering (IPO) — already paid for by the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) on behalf of the citizens — until the offering occurs, revealed Arab, indicating that the capital of the company stood at KD 230 million (approximately $759 million).

Regarding the inclusion of the private sector in Kuwait’s development plans, Arab stressed that it was of paramount importance to apply the best of international standards when seeking overall-comprehensive development, noting that Dhaman hospitals would be the first facility in the Middle East to offer a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) system, a health plan based on an annual or monthly fee.

He pointed out that Dhaman would also aim at providing top-notch healthcare services via implementing Joint Commission International (JCI) accreditation standards. Arab said that Dhaman hospitals were working on being listed in Boursa Kuwait, the stock exchange, after it begins operation hopefully this year. The company would provide preliminary and secondary health offer services to some two million residents working in the private sector and their families, added the CEO who revealed that the cost of health insurance would be set initially at KD 130 (around $430).

Arab noted that while the Ministry of Health covered around 80 percent of health services in the country, the beginning of the Dhaman hospitals company’s operation would aim at lessening the burden on the public sector to around 60 percent, pointing out that insurance would cover the needs of residents over 60 years of age. Touching on the impact of the coronavirus on the launch of Dhaman hospitals services, Arab said that partial operations were in motion during the pandemic with facilities of the hospitals put in use by the staff of the Ministry of Health namely in Hawali and Farwaniya areas.

On job opportunities, Arab affirmed that over 7,000 jobs were “up for grabs”, adding that currently, the staff consisted of 400 employees, physicians, and medical staff. He revealed that two health clinics were being established in Fahaheel and Al-Jahra in addition to 600-bed capacity hospitals in Al-Jahra and Al-Ahmadi.

The main Dhaman hospital building consisted of five floors and a basement built on 82,000 square meters with a bed capacity of 300, 14 operation theaters, 21 ICUs, premature care units, in addition to laboratories, an ER, a heliport, and pharmacy. The parking lot accommodates 500 vehicles, said Arab, adding that the main hospital construction was at 62 percent. – KUNA

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