Kuwait study calls for deporting of labourers, deadline for expat hiring

The country’s large foreign worker population has dominated political debate in recent months



The research department at Kuwait’s Ministry of State for National Assembly Affairs has recommended deporting marginal labourers and setting a timetable to stop the 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 limits on foreign workers.

Read: Kuwait MPs demand debate on expat population in Feb

Kuwait Times reports that other recommendations made in a study by the department included determining the market’s expat labour needs, punishing visa traffickers, deporting people with expired residency papers and increasing Kuwaiti representation in the workforce.

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 check-up in the country including any medicine.

Doctors criticised 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 Kuwait Times.

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

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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