Kuwait Implements Stringent New Licensing Requirements for Pharmacists: 7 Key Criteria Outlined

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Kuwait Implements Stringent New Licensing Requirements for Pharmacists: 7 Key Criteria Outlined

Photo by: Volodymyr Hryshchenko

KUWAIT CITY, June 9: Minister of Health Dr. Ahmed Al-Awadhi recently issued Ministerial Decision No. 160/2024, which sets forth comprehensive requirements for obtaining a license to practice as a pharmacist and in various assistant professions in both the public and private sectors. The announcement, as reported by Al-Anba daily, signifies a significant update to the regulatory framework governing the healthcare profession in Kuwait, particularly for pharmacists and their assistants.

This new decision effectively cancels the earlier Decision No. 88/2024, which had amended Article Three of Ministerial Decision No. 395/1997. The 1997 decision pertained to the executive regulations of Law No. 28/1996. By replacing the older decision, Ministerial Decision No. 160/2024 establishes a clearer and more structured set of requirements aimed at ensuring that only qualified individuals are licensed to practice in these crucial healthcare roles.

The detailed requirements for obtaining a pharmacist license under the new decision are as follows:

  1. Educational Qualifications: The applicant must hold a valid and accredited Pharmacology certificate. This ensures that the pharmacist has received proper education and training from a recognized institution.
  2. Certification for Assistants: Applicants for assistant positions must possess a valid and accredited certificate specific to their field of specialization. This requirement is intended to maintain high standards of knowledge and competency among all healthcare assistants.
  3. Experience Verification: Applicants are required to submit an experience certificate that has been authorized by relevant institutions. This ensures that the candidate has practical experience and has met the professional standards expected in their role.
  4. Behavioral Standards: The applicant must demonstrate good behavior and must not have been subjected to penalties for crimes against honor unless they have been rehabilitated. This criterion is crucial for maintaining the integrity and trustworthiness of healthcare professionals.
  5. Medical Fitness: The applicant must pass a medical test according to the measures defined by the Higher Health Council in the Ministry of Health. This requirement is essential to ensure that healthcare providers are physically and mentally fit to perform their duties.
  6. Professional Membership: Kuwaiti applicants for a pharmacist license must present a valid Kuwait Pharmacology Society membership card. This requirement underscores the importance of professional engagement and adherence to the standards set by the professional body.

In addition to these requirements, the decision specifies conditions under which the license to practice can be nullified. The license will be revoked in the following cases:

  • Death of the License Holder: Naturally, the license becomes invalid upon the death of the holder.
  • Criminal Convictions: If the holder is found guilty of committing a crime against honor, the license is nullified unless they have been rehabilitated. This ensures that those practicing in the healthcare field maintain a high moral standard.
  • Health Issues: If the relevant department in the Ministry of Health reports that the license holder is unable to perform their duties due to health problems, the license will be revoked to protect patients and maintain healthcare standards.
  • Immoral Acts: The license is also nullified if the holder commits immoral acts that negatively affect their job and reputation. This clause is aimed at preserving the ethical standards of the healthcare profession.

Moreover, the decision provides for temporary licensing conditions. Pharmacists and those in assistant roles within public institutions are allowed to obtain a temporary license for one year while they submit their accredited academic certificates. This temporary measure ensures that healthcare services are not disrupted while professionals complete their documentation.

For those wishing to work in the private sector, all of the aforementioned requirements must be fully met, and applicants must also pay the fees stipulated in Decision No. 278/2019. This decision ensures that private sector healthcare professionals are equally qualified and meet the same rigorous standards as their public sector counterparts.

The license will also be canceled under several additional conditions:

  • Termination of Employment: The license is canceled upon the termination of the contract with the employer.
  • Inability to Work: If a medical report proves that the holder is incapable of performing their job, the license is revoked.
  • Criminal Activity: If the holder is proven to have committed a crime against honor, the license is canceled.
  • Non-Practice: If the holder does not practice the profession for 30 consecutive days after obtaining the license without a valid excuse, the license will be invalidated. This condition ensures that only active practitioners are licensed.

Ministerial Decision No. 160/2024 aims to maintain high standards in the healthcare sector, ensuring that pharmacists and their assistants are well-qualified, ethical, and capable of providing high-quality care to the public. This comprehensive framework reflects Kuwait’s commitment to improving healthcare services and safeguarding public health.

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