Kuwait study calls for reducing labors, setting deadline for expat hiring

BE2C2 Report: The research department at Kuwait’s Ministry of State for National Assembly Affairs has recommended deporting marginal laborers and setting a timetable to stop hiring of expats in the private sector to rebalance the country’s population.

Expatriates make up 70 per cent of Kuwait’s 4.4 million population, according to some estimates, and MPs in the country’s new parliament have repeatedly called for deportations and limiting foreign workers.

The research department at the ministry also made recommendations in its study for determining the market’s expat labor needs, punishing visa traffickers, deporting people with expired residency papers and increasing Kuwaiti representation in the workforce, according to a report in the Kuwait Times.

Other measures included encouraging young nationals to join technical colleges, and stopping the transfer of expats from government projects to the private sector.

The study comes following debate this week over a proposal to force expats in the country to purchase medicines from private pharmacies rather than receiving them during medical check-ups.

Foreign workers in the country pay a symbolic sum of up to KD2 ($6.55) for a medical check-up in the country including any medicine.

Doctors criticized the proposal by MP Safaa Al-Hashem, who is the only woman on the country’s 50-seat National Assembly, saying it was discriminatory.

But she hit back yesterday saying the change would improve health services and provide “social justice”, according to the paper.

She claimed doctors in the country squandered public funds by providing large amounts of medicine to expat patients, who she said overcrowd public health centers.

The MP also called for changes to the healthcare system that would mean companies provides their workers with health insurance for treatment.

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