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Kuwait Healthcare
 
 
 

Kuwait has a highly advanced public health service, which is extended to all Kuwaiti residents, regardless of citizenship. In 1993, 100% of the population had access to healthcare services. As of 1999, total healthcare expenditure was estimated at 3.3% of GDP. In 1999, 100% of the urban population had access to safe water and 100% of the urban population had adequate sanitation. In 1994, there were 16 public hospitals and sanatoriums (with 4,271 beds) and 70 clinics and other health centres. Medical personnel included 2,717 doctors and 399 dentists in 1994. As of 1999, there were an estimated 1.9 physicians and 2.8 hospital beds per 1,000 people.

Owing to Kuwait’s small population and the numerous medical facilities in the private and public sectors, long waiting lists are almost unheard of. For specialised treatment, however, it’s sometimes necessary to seek medical assistance outside Kuwait, and locals who can afford it often do so.

Members of the ruling families and wealthy Arabs invariably have all major operations outside their own territory, particularly in London and American cities. Although some of Kuwait’s doctors and medical staff are local, the vast majority are foreign and were trained in their home countries.

American mission hospitals, which used to operate on a part-private (for those who could afford treatment), part-free (for those who couldn’t) basis, played an important part in the development of medical services and can still be found today, although they no longer offer free treatment. Kuwait now has a public health service providing free or very low cost healthcare for its nationals and it’s important to note that these services are also available to expatriates.

The incidence of typhoid fever and most infectious diseases is comparatively low; however, influenza is common and measles has resulted in a high fatality rate among children up to age five.

Between 1990 and 1994, immunisation rates for children up to one year of age were as follows: tuberculosis, 93%; diphtheria, pertussis, and tetanus, 98%; polio, 98%; and measles, 97%. As of 1999, the rates for DPT and measles were 94% and 95%, respectively. Common diseases were malaria (1,379 new cases in 1993) and measles (432 new cases in the same year).

Life expectancy in 2000 was 77 years and infant mortality was estimated at 9 per 1,000 live births. As of 2002, the crude birth rate and overall mortality rate were estimated at, respectively, 21.8 and 2.5 per 1,000 people. The total fertility rate in 2000 was 2.7 children per woman during childbearing years. In 1990 and 1991, there were approximately 200,000 deaths attributed to the war between Kuwait and Iraq. In 1999 the HIV prevalence was 0.12 per 100 adults.

 

 
 


 


 
 

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