IPO next month for Kuwait firm offering healthcare to expats

09 September 2014
KUWAIT: A company that will build hospitals to provide healthcare to expatriates under insurance is now official after the Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Ministry of Justice finished the establishment procedures. Commerce minister Dr Abdulmohsen Al-Mudej issued a decree this week to establish the health insurance hospitals company as a Kuwaiti shareholding company with a KD 230 million capital.

The company will operate under Islamic regulations, has 24 percent of its shares owned by the government represented by the Kuwait Investment Authority, and 26 percent by Arabi Group which won the strategic investor's stake last year. The remaining 50 percent will be offered to citizens in an initial public offering, which reportedly takes place next month.

The company has a total of 1.15 billion shares, with a nominal value of 100 fils per share. The company's activity will cover 19 purposes, including building, managing, and developing hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and labs. The firm will also provides home medical services, and sell health insurance documents inside and outside Kuwait, Al-Anba daily reported yesterday.

The company's main objective though is to build three 50,000 square meter hospitals in different locations around Kuwait to provide healthcare for expatriates covered by a government health insurance program. The mega project calls for finishing the hospitals with a capacity of 200 beds each within three to four years. The hospitals will offer integrated medical services covered through a government-sponsored medical insurance program in which insurance companies will handle payments for medical services at the hospital.

The hospitals would provide full medical services to both Kuwaitis and expatriates covered by the government's insurance program. But reports in the past have indicated that the hospitals will serve as exclusive medical outlets for the country's expatriate community as the state looks to reduce pressure on currently overcrowded public medical facilities. Putting the project into effect would ultimately require increasing the annual health insurance money that expatriates pay up to KD 150 according to early estimations.

Currently, a foreigner is required to pay KD 50 health insurance money for every year of their visa's duration, in addition to entrance fees at hospitals and polyclinics, whereas the majority of health services there are offered free of charge. Kuwait has already begun separating expat and local health services in some areas. In Jahra, governorate hospitals and clinics offer separate timings for locals and expatriates. Citizens may visit in the mornings but locals may only visit in the evening except in emergency cases.

© Kuwait Times 2014


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