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Kuwaiti pharmacists needed to run 73 co-op drugstores

KUWAIT: Head of Kuwait Pharmacists Society (KPS) Waleed Al-Shemmari announced that 70 Kuwaiti pharmacists were needed to run 73 drugstores in various co-operative societies. Speaking at a seminar organized by KPS to discuss the developments of law number 30/2016, Shemmari stressed the significance of the law in investing in co-op pharmacies and mandating various co-ops to restrict such investments to Kuwaitis. He added that the law also mandates exempted pharmacies to hire at least 3 percent citizens. MPs Saleh Ashour and Osama Al-Shaheen attended the seminar, in addition to former MP and former minister Ahmed Baqer and a number of pharmacists working in the public and the private sector.

Ashour called for combining efforts to implement the law and set strict penalties for violating it. He also urged the health and labor ministers to put the law into practice, as dozens of pharmacists are waiting for real job opportunities. He urged fellow lawmakers to amend the law and not give in to the demands of influential companies.

Shaheen stressed that calls to amend the law were initial attempts. He added that thanks to KPS, the law has topped the parliamentary health affairs committee’s priorities. “Each pharmacy’s licensee should be Kuwait and every pharmacy should hire a Kuwaiti pharmacist,” he underlined, noting that the situation was dangerous and needs a serious stance.
Baqer said various five-year development plans had failed because laws were not enforced. “I witnessed the five-year plans during my governmental and parliamentary career calling on citizens to join the private sector. They all failed,” he underlined, noting that recent statistics showed that 2.4 million licenses had been issued, with only 4.3 percent of them for Kuwaitis.

KPS Secretary General Ali Hadi stressed that the number of Kuwaiti pharmacists had grown remarkably in recent years to reach 1,066, compared to only 53 in 1966. KPS Treasurer Ahmed Shasuddin said that the law aims at regulating licensing new pharmacies to protect the profession and encourage Kuwaiti pharmacists. Finally, MoH’s official spokesperson Dr Ahmed Al-Shatti promised to brief Sheikh Basel about the topics discussed in the symposium so that he could make proper decisions concerning the law.

Meanwhile, Health Minister Sheikh Dr Bassel Al-Sabah allocated Mondays for his undersecretary and assistant undersecretaries to receive citizens’ suggestions and complaints, and Tuesdays for health zone directors to do the same from 9:00 am till 1:00 pm. Sheikh Dr Bassel explained that this decision was made to avoid centralization in decision making.

By Meshaal Al-Enezi

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