Despite the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health’s numerous regulations, the expat medical testing centre remains congested. At certain times of the day, things get crazy. The daily Al-Rai reports that the current chaos will continue until a viable solution is found.
Initially, a remedy was found by the ministry. Domestic workers were given the morning shift, and the remainder of the expatriate workforce was given the evening shift based on prior appointment dates.
This solution, however, provided only temporary ease of tension. The problem now was that people didn’t show up for their appointments or the test centres’ capacity wasn’t properly estimated. An expatriate’s “suffering excursion” to an exam centre, especially when the temperature is so high, is “rewarded” either with a successful exam or the necessity to return the next day for more examinations.
Because of the high demand for test centres and an increasing number of applicants (from 1,600 per day before the COVID-19 crisis to 3,000 per day currently and still rising), the ministry’s efforts to solve the problem are only “sedatives,” according to health sources.
The problem will be solved if six ministerial procedures are put into place. This, however, needs the decision of Health Minister Khaled Al-Saeed. Currently, these six steps are on hold because of procedural concerns.
The government’s six procedures for dealing with the crisis are as follows:
- Launch of a new health centre in Mishref, with a capacity to handle 500 to 700 cases daily.
- Creation of new facilities in order to boost capacity to 4,000 tests daily.
- Increasing the capacity of the existing centres.
- Ensuring that the appointment policy is strictly followed
- Working with the Ministry of Interior on no-appointment customers
- Utilization of labs in medical institutions to ease the burden on existing labs.
Health practitioners have faith in the abilities of Dr. Khaled Al-abilities Saeed to solve the situation.