reform in Kuwait: Obstacles, challenges, and future direction
Over the last several decades the healthcare system
around the world has been continually evolving. In Kuwait these changes have taken place consistently over the last 100 years, as the country would go from the non existence of a healthcare system
to one that would become one of the best in the Middle East. An example of this can be seen with the infant mortality rate in the country at the beginning of the 20th century, where it was 100 for every 1,000 births. (Kuwait Health Care System
, n.d) By 2006, this number decreased dramatically, with the infant mortality rate coming in at 33 for every 1,000 births. (Tony Blair Report about Kuwait Health Care System
Reform, 2009) This is significant because it shows how a shift occurred in the country’s healthcare system
throughout the 20th century, where a mix of institutions would evolve. Then, during the mid 20th century when the government began receiving massive oil revenues a shift occurred in the country’s health care system
. Where, the government would begin to rapidly expand the total number of hospitals and clinics that were available to the general public. The main emphasis was to effectively regulate prices, by having the Ministry of Health
serving as the price regulator and ensuring that everyone has access to free or low cost healthcare
services. This would help to improve the general health
of Kuwaiti’s, with the average lifespan currently sitting at 78 years old. Yet, the changes that took place in the field of health care
meant that the Kuwaitis would miss out on some of the innovations that were being developed in Western Europe and North America. This would cause a number of critics to call for various reforms to imposed, to improve the overall quality of care
that is being provided. (Kuwait Health Care System
, n.d) To determine how to effectively reform the system
requires examining: how Kuwait can improve the overall quality of care
that is being provided, how citizens can have better access to a variety of healthcare
services and what actions the government could take that could take; to help the country’s health care system
become the envy of the world. The answers to these different questions will provide the greatest insights as to how the Kuwaiti healthcare system
can effectively be reformed.
Subthemes (Aims & Key Questions):
1) How to improve medical reporting errors?
2) How to improve performance management practices?
3) What is the patient/staff perception of provided services?
4) How the media portrayal of healthcare
provision affects perception of both patients & staff about healthcare system
A number of different secondary sources were reviewed to provide the greatest insights as to what is taking place in this area. This is because the news and politics surrounding the different resources is constantly changing. Therefore, to effectively determine how to reform the Kuwaiti health system
requires examining the most recent pieces of information that can be obtained, which is found through the use of secondary sources.
‘Tony Blair Report about Kuwait Health Care System
Reform,’ 2009, Albqabas 10 April.
The Tony Blair Report lists a number of ways that the Kuwaiti health care system
can be able to effectively conduct reforms to include: promoting sports, increasing the taxes charged on tobacco related products, improving the total number of specialists in the country, establishing medical research centers and increased participation in seminars / conferences. These reforms are significant because they address an issue that has been hindering the development of health care
. A good primary care system
, with a specialty care system
that needs improvements. The various reforms recommended by the Blair proposal, highlight how implementing reforms to the system
can allow Kuwait to begin to have a system
comparable to the countries in Europe (which have some of the best health care systems
in the world). (Tony Blair Report about Kuwait Health Care System
‘Article 2.’ 2010, Alseyasah 19 January.
Article 2 talks about the different efforts to address the various reforms that have been taking place. Where, the Ministry of Health
has been working with the World Health
Organization and private companies, to increase the overall amount of medical research that is being conducted and to allow for more specialized services to be offered. This is important because the information can be used to corroborate what was recommended in the Blair Report, helping to provide a good overview of how to effectively reform the system
. (Article 2, 2010)
‘Article 5,’ 2010, Kuwaiti News Agency, 18 January.
Article 5 discusses how the Ministry of Health
is working with the World Health
Organization to develop a comprehensive plan for allowing some kind of private insurance. This is important because it is a first step towards increasing the overall amount of choices that citizens have available to them. Where, they can augment the government run system
with one that of private health
insurance. The thinking is: that working a combination of the private and public programs, you can be able to see increased amount of coverage as well as services available. This will help to improve health
standards dramatically. (Article 5, 2010)
‘Article 7,’ 2007, Albqabas 16 January.
Article 7 shows how the current system
is not working, where the total number of medical errors and flaws has increased dramatically. This is troubling because the errors that occurred at Ministry of Health
hospitals, shows how more oversight needs to be provided in this area. The information can be used to show how the current state of the health system
has problems. It can then be supported later on to show how the government is attempting to address this issue. (Article 7, 2010)
‘Article 9,’ 2010, Awan, 14 January.
Article 9 talks about how the many citizens feel as if the doctors that are working for the Ministry of Health
and are unresponsive to their needs. Then, the overall availability of prescription drugs can vary from one clinic to another. This is important because it shows how the government sponsored system
is clearly not working, as citizens will seek out those health care
facilities that are privately owned. The information presented, is useful in helping to establish how the Kuwaiti health care system
can be reformed. (Article 9, 2010)
Privatization Best to Cut Inefficiencies, 2010, Available from [18 May 2010].
The article, Privatization Best to Cut Inefficiencies, talks about how in Kuwait there has been stiff opposition to opening up the public sector to private interests. This has caused unions such as the Kuwait Union Federation to oppose privatization. According to the article the fear is that if privatization is allowed to take place, many feel that private enterprise will attempt to streamline their operation. Once this takes place, it is only a matter of time until the large number of public workers will be laid off. The information presented in this article is important because it highlights the overall amounts of resistance to such changes. This can be used to show the overall backdrop and pressures that are facing the Kuwaiti healthcare system. (Privatization Best to Cut Inefficiencies, 2010)
My data will be obtained from 2 sources, primary and secondary. The primary source will be based on a questionnaire which will be conducted on both staff (clinical and non-clinical) and patients, to know their perception about the provided healthcare and what the things that needs to be reformed in the healthcare system.
To determine how to effectively reform the Kuwaiti healthcare system requires looking at secondary sources of literature. This will consist of mainly newspapers, magazines and news websites. At which point, it will provide a good overview as to what challenges are facing the Kuwaiti health system and what steps can be taken to rectify the situation. The different pieces of data will be analyzed using the quantitative method. This is when you are looking at different facts objectively, to determine the most appropriate course of action. Using the secondary sources from a wide variety of newspapers and websites, will help to provide a more in depth understanding as to what challenges are being faced by ordinary Kuwaitis, under the Ministry of Health system. Then, when you examine the different actions being taken and the proposed reforms, will help to provide insights as to how the government is addressing the problem. At which point, you would begin looking at other recommendations that were not included as part of the government reforms. This will show what areas the government is overlooking. Together, these different elements along with the quantitative method will highlight how to effectively reform the system.
To gain access to different pieces of research on the subject, an analysis will be conducted on the various news wires and the internet. This will help to identify the timeliest pieces of information and it will help to provide an even greater overview of the different challenges that are facing the healthcare industry. The research will be conducted in three different stages to include: a search of all news wires for information on the topic, an internet search and then a search will be conduct looking for both kinds of information using the internet. Where, there would be an emphasis placed on looking for the different pieces of information, which will show the problems that have been occurring with the health system over the last several years. There will be a particular emphasis placed on those pieces of information that are the most current. The overall timeline for completing the research would take no more than a few hours. This is because the ground work was already conducted to provide a good overview along with other pertinent information, which was obtained through this assignment. At which point, the construction of the actual paper will take place, with the different questions that were presented earlier answered fully. Once this is accomplished, it will show how effective the various reforms from the Ministry of Health are working and it will highlight areas that need to be addressed. This will provide the greatest insights as to how to effectively reform the Kuwaiti health system.
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