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Kuwait’s public health services date back to early 1930s

KUWAIT: Healthcare services began in Kuwait in the early 30s, prior to formation of a proto-health ministry in 1936, followed by opening the first “public clinic” in 1939. The clinic was originally a pharmacy called “Wanis”, owned by Mohammad Boodai and was later bought by the government and turned into a health center.

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The pharmacy’s name referred to the pharmacist who worked there, said Dr Khaled Al-Jarallah in his book “The History of Healthcare Services in Kuwait, From Establishment until Independence.” The government then moved the clinic to Ismail Maarafi’s diwan as the first one was too small. The new place had an examination room for women and another one for men, a pharmacy, a plaster room and a drug storage room, said Jarallah. The clinic included doctors and workers from different nationalities including Kuwaitis and Syrians.

Later in 1944, a women’s only clinic was opened due to the need for expansion in the healthcare field, while the first clinic became a men’s only clinic. He added that “Beit Khalaf” was also opened as the first maternity clinic in the country. – KUNA

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