At a Glance - Kuwait

Kuwait article about medical jobs and culture

Fraser Clarke

It can be difficult to know where to start when planning a move overseas, especially if you aren’t fully sure where your future could lie. 

That’s why our latest Odyssey Exclusive series ‘At a Glance’ will help provide you with a quick overview of each location we work with, to help you decide if a move to the country could be worth pursuing.

Article eight - Kuwait

Where is it?

Kuwait is located in the North-Western corner of the Gulf, bordering Iraq and Saudi Arabia. It is around 500 miles from Bahrain, and 1,100 north of Abu Dhabi.

British Airways and Kuwait Airways both offer regular non-stop flights from London to Kuwait International Airport, which lies just over 10 miles from the capital, Kuwait City.

The country’s Northern Gulf location makes it ideal for anyone looking to explore the region by air, with Bahrain, The UAE and even Oman reachable in under two hours.

Getting around the country itself can be slightly trickier, with driving standards well below those in the west and pedestrian infrastructure limited. As a result we’d recommend using a taxi or employing a driver to help navigate the dangerous roads.

How is Healthcare Structured?

In Kuwait there is a private and public healthcare system. The public system is free at the point of need for Kuwaiti nationals (who make up just 30% of the population) and can be accessed by expats if they pay an annual fee.

The public system can be extremely busy, and so trial schemes have been introduced banning expats from visiting hospitals, clinics and surgeries at certain times, whilst plans for separate expat hospitals have also been implemented.

Most well off expats in Kuwait will use the private healthcare system, where waiting times are much lower and no curfews are in place. Private healthcare fees are controlled by the government and so, although they can be expensive, they are capped to keep them in the reach of most.

Kuwait is the Gulf’s second richest country, and as a result it can afford to invest in healthcare.

This investment pays off with the average life expectancy of those in the country rising by almost 15 years since 1970. Further to this the number of state and private hospital beds has also continued to grow as the population ages. Currently there are over 7,000 public hospital beds, and over 1,100 in the private sector according to the latest official figures (published in 2014).

What will I need?

All openings will have their own criteria - however most employers will look for:

  • A medical degree from a WHO approved medical school
  • Completion of a Western residency programme
  • Ideally board certification from a Western country: USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, South Africa etc
  • At least three years of experience post specialist training - the more the better
  • Fluency in English
  • A knowledge of Arabic would also be looked upon very favourably

What are the positives?

  • Plenty of Museums and cultural attractions
  • Low crime rates
  • Very high salaries
  • A large, friendly expat community
  • Plenty of recently opened, modern hospitals

What are the negatives?

  • Looks more dated than many other Gulf locations
  • Poor pedestrian infrastructure
  • The heat can be stifling in summer
  • Parts of society remain segregated based on gender

We currently have no open positions available in Kuwait, however that could change very soon. To receive job alerts when opportunities become available, register on our website today. A dream move could be far closer than you might imagine.