Looking at Health Care
In 1912 Kuwait's first medical clinic was opened. Since then the government has paid increasing attention to improving and developing medical services.

Oil wealth has helped all the residents of Kuwait. Modern medical care is provided to all residents free of charge. Kuwait has imported medical knowledge and expertise along with many doctors and nurses from all over the world. The country still relies largely on foreign doctors, but the percentage of locally trained doctors has been steadily increasing.

The ministry of Public Health has divided Kuwait into six zones: Farwaniya, Jahra, Adan, Mubarak Al-Kabeer, Amiri and Shuwaikh. Each of these serves about 300,000 to 500,000 people. In these zones, health care services are provided on three levels. The primary health care services come through health centres, maternal and child care centres, school health centres, first aid services and family-medicine training units. Secondary health care is given through each zone's hospital. Tertiary health care services include medical and surgical specialties such as obstetrics and psychiatry, the treatment of respiratory problems, cancer and contagious diseases.
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In 1987, the Centre for Islamic Medicine was opened. Its objectives are to revive the Islamic medical heritage by treating patients using medicinal herbs. A mosque within the Centre accommodates 1500 worshippers.

Health care is a sector in which women are very active in Kuwait. In accordance with traditional segregation practices, many Kuwaiti women prefer to be treated by female health care workers. As a result, Kuwait has a significant number of female physicians. Almost one-third of all doctors in Kuwait are women and an increasing percentage of these are Kuwaitis.

Though free medical care continues for Kuwaitis, charges for services as well as for drugs, are being instituted for expatriates. These are people living in Kuwait who are from other countries.