KUWAIT: Kuwait places developing the quality of health services provided to citizens at the top of its priorities, Minister of Health Dr. Ahmed Al-Awadi said Wednesday. Awadi affirmed the ministry’s keenness to provide support to all medical staff in order to raise the level of medical services provided. The remarks came at the Ramadan Ghabka held by the Kuwait Medical Association.
President of the Kuwait Medical Association Dr Ibrahim Al-Tawalah said he appreciates the efforts of the minister and his unlimited support to increase the admission quota in board programs at the Kuwait Institute for Medical Specialization (KIMS). The quota was increased last December when the Ministry of Health announced fifty percent more seats for the programs compared to the previous year.
Tawalah thanked the minister Wednesday for backing a raise in the compensation received by doctor educators, which was also announced in December. Tawalah had told media last year that requests for a raise had been refused by previous ministers prior to Awadi’s approval. The need for a larger compensation was the reason why some specialized physicians were reluctant to participate in training programs, which reflected poorly on the number of doctors enrolling in these programs.
Compensation has since been raised to KD 300-500, said Tawalah Wednesday. He pointed out that the association was also successful in lobbying for enforcing Article 80 of the law pertaining to practicing medicine in Kuwait, which guarantees compensation for physicians working shifts and teaching training courses. Demands to enforce the law date as far back as 2013, but it was first enforced last June following an April 2022 ministerial decision.
The association continues to support physicians, he said, through advocating for revising the current regulations surrounding the compensation for those working overtime. The association has also submitted a proposal to the government that would guarantee allowances to Kuwaiti physicians for environmental, infection-related and screen-related damages. Suggestions to incentivize Kuwaiti doctors to work in rural areas are on the table, as well, said Tawalah.
Awadi praised the distinguished level of medical professionals in Kuwait, noting the great importance that the ministry attaches to preserving the rights of doctors, providing them with a suitable environment and encouraging continuous professional development. He said he appreciates the constructive cooperation between the ministry, the Kuwait Medical Association and all medical professions associations in the country. – Agencies