KUWAIT: The number of Kuwaitis receiving medical treatment in the United States has increased significantly, newly-designated US Ambassador to Kuwait Laurence Silverman said yesterday during a seminar to promote America. ‘Discover America Week’ is a weeklong event highlighting different aspects of America including food, music, film, sports, automobiles, education and tourism.
Yesterday’s program was titled ‘Health Connections’ and was held at the Kuwait Chamber of Commerce and Industry. “While I strongly support Kuwaitis receiving great treatment in America, I also support the development of new hospitals in Kuwait as part of the continued advancement of the healthcare sector,” he said.
Silverman said that he met a US healthcare operator that will be running one of the new hospitals from the beginning of next year. “Our embassy brought over a healthcare trade delegation to establish connections with Ministry of Health officials as well as private sector contacts and facilitate the exchange of healthcare technology from the US to Kuwait. Over the coming years, I hope to see even more US healthcare companies become active,” he said.
Silverman acknowledged Kuwait faces healthcare challenges. However, he believes that US institutions and companies can help Kuwait address the challenges, which not only affect the health of Kuwaitis, but could incur significant cost for Kuwait.
Yesterday’s session saw three speakers from various healthcare institutions, both in the US and Kuwait – Jose Nunez, Chief Advisor, Houston Methodist Global Health Care Services in Houston Texas, Talal Braidy, Global Relations Director of Houston Methodist Global Health Care and Mussad Al-Razouki, Chief Business Development Officer, Kuwait Life Sciences Company.
Razouki spoke about healthcare imbalances in Kuwait and the fact that 65 percent of its local population wants to be treated abroad rather than patronize its own healthcare service system in Kuwait. He also mentioned the aggressive hospital projects being built in Kuwait and even joked that once delivered, hospital beds will be way more than hotel beds available.
The Health Connections seminar is one of many events related to Discover America Week. Other events include promotions of many US-based franchisee restaurants, films, basketball, business expos and the display of many US-made products in the local market.
By Ben Garcia