Are you a foreign-trained medical doctor? Do you want to work in Kuwait as a foreign-trained doctor? To work in Kuwait as a foreign-trained doctor, dentist, nurse, midwife or allied health worker, you will need to obtain the relevant practice licence from the Kuwait Ministry of Health.

Documents Required to Obtain Kuwait Medical Practice Licence

Foreign-trained doctors who intend to work in Kuwait will need the following documents to apply for a Kuwait medical practice licence.

  • Application letter for Kuwait medical practice licence addressed to Kuwait Ministry of Health.
  • Applicant’s curriculum Vitae should include the applicant’s qualifications and relevant work history.
  • Applicant’s professional certificates/degrees. This includes Bachelor’s degree (MBBS), Bachelor’s transcript, internship certificate and postgraduate degree.
  • Certificate of experience from the hospitals/institutions the applicant has worked with. This should include the participant’s clinical and non-clinical experience in chronological order post-graduation.
  • Applicant’s medical practice licence from the country where the applicant was working.
  • Certificate of good standing. This is issued by the last hospital/institution the applicant has worked with or the country medical council.
  • Applicant’s international passport with at least two years validity. The two-year passport validity will also apply when the applicant has passed the online interview and your Kuwait visa processing has commenced. Thus, if possible, it is better to have at least 3 years of passport validity before applying. Otherwise, you run the risk of being asked to renew your international passport during the application process, even after passing the online interview.
  • Recommendation letter from three individuals from your previous place of work.
  • Applicant’s passport photograph.
  • EPIC ID. The applicant can start the application process, without the EPIC ID, however, before the process is completed the applicant’s qualifications will be verified by EPIC.

Steps to Work in Kuwait as a Foreign-trained Doctor

To work in Kuwait as a foreign-trained doctor, the applicant must obtain a medical practice licence from the Ministry of Health of Kuwait before practising medicine in Kuwait.

Non-Kuwait-trained doctors who intend to practice in Kuwait must obtain the required documents for Kuwait medical practice licensure. After getting the required documents, the Applicant should submit the documents to the Kuwait Ministry of Health via courier or email.

Alternatively, If the applicant has a friend or relative living in Kuwait he or she can apply on the applicant’s behalf to the Ministry of Health Kuwait.

The ministry reviews the submitted documents and the applicant’s qualifications are sent to the Kuwait Ministry of Higher Education for review after that the applicant’s application is presented to the speciality/exam committee for a personal online interview.

The personal interview is usually online since the applicant is likely, not domiciled in Kuwait. The interview can only be scheduled once irrespective of the outcome. Thus the applicant should prepare well to increase their chances of success.

Successful applicants will have their files forwarded to the special contracts department for further approval. Usually, the applicant will receive the contract and job offer letter via email from the special contracts unit within three to six months after the online interview.

If the applicant accepts the job offer and signs the contract, then the candidate’s Kuwait entry visa and work permit are processed. When ready the candidate travels to Kuwait for documentation and resumption of duty.

In addition, the applicant must pass a medical check-up at a designated medical facility in the present country where he or she resides before travelling to work in Kuwait as a foreign-trained doctor.

Also, all applicants must know that the medical check and laboratory investigations are repeated in Kuwait. Any derangement in the applicant’s laboratory results may result in the termination of the contract.

Thus foreign-trained medical doctors who want to work in Kuwait are advised to do the following investigations in their home country; Hepatitis B and C virus test, Retroviral screening (HIV), Chest X-ray, Urinalysis, Serum Electrolyte urea and creatinine and Liver function tests.

Please use the comment section for comments/ clarifications on how to work in Kuwait as a foreign-trained doctor.

Note: The Kuwait government employs primarily specialists and consultants. They rarely employ medical officers who do not have any postgraduate clinical qualifications or experience. However, private hospitals in Kuwait recruit all cadre of doctors through their agents with similar terms of service to Kuwait government hospitals.

Kuwait Medical Doctor Cadres

Different medical specialities/departments in Kuwait have unique cadres depending on the following:

  • Year of obtaining a primary medical degree and the country
  • Year of obtaining relevant post-graduate qualifications and the college and country

In Kuwait’s primary health care, there are three cadres: Assistant registrar/practitioner, practitioner, senior practitioner B and senior practitioner A.

Foreign-trained doctors with no postgraduate medical training and whose primary medical degree is less than 17 years old will be employed as medical practitioners.

While foreign-trained doctors with primary medical degrees older than 17 years or who are specialists for more than six years or Consultants who finished residency training more than 4 years ago are employed as senior practitioner B.

Other single specialist departments have the following cadres assistant registrar, registrar, senior registrar and consultants.

Please use the comment section for comments/ clarifications on how to work in Kuwait as a foreign-trained doctor.

Life as a Foreign-Trained Doctor in Kuwait

The practice of medicine in Kuwait for a non-Kuwaiti drained doctor has its challenges depending on the doctor’s country of origin, speciality, the languages the doctor can understand and the doctor’s degree of buoyancy.

The following are the common challenges a foreign-trained doctor working in Kuwait will likely encounter:

Communication issues

Doctors from other Arabic-speaking countries, usually have fewer problems understanding the Kuwaiti Arabic language. However, doctors who are not from Arab nations or who have little or no experience with the Arabic language will find communicating with patients to be a big challenge.

Communication problems also differ depending on the doctor’s speciality. Family physicians and internists will have more language challenges than anaesthetists and radiologists who interact more with colleagues in the course of their practice.

Cultural differences

This should not be a major challenge but is worth mentioning, especially for foreign-trained doctors who are neither from Arab nations nor are Muslims.

Kuwait like other Arab nations starts its week on Sunday and ends the week on Thursday. Thus the normal working hours are from Sunday to Thursday.

Also, most Kuwaiti females cover their faces in public spaces and are not expected to have any physical contact with adult males.

The foods in Kuwait are also very different from what is obtainable in other countries, however, newly employed doctors will surely find food similar to what is obtainable in their country in big malls.

High Cost of Living

The standard of living in Kuwait is quite high and the Kuwait Dinar is the strongest currency in the world. Thus most doctors coming to work in Kuwait will need to change a lot of their local currency to Kuwait dinars, which will only amount to a few Kuwait dinars.

Accommodation is also, very expensive in Kuwait and the tenancy fee is paid monthly. Newly employed male doctors will be quartered in the hostel for a week while female doctors will be accommodated in the hostel for about two weeks after which they are expected to look for alternative accommodation.

In addition to the above, transportation via taxi is also expensive in Kuwait, the alternative is to follow the bus route which consumes time but is by far more pocket-friendly.

The cost of fuel in Kuwait is very affordable, thus, newly employed doctors should acquire a vehicle as soon as they start earning a salary for ease of transportation.

Delay in Salary Payment

Newly employed doctors in Kuwait usually have to wait for 6 to 8 months before receiving their first salary. This is because the medicals in Kuwait and other documentation take time to complete. However, during this period one can access soft loans from the Kuwaiti government and colleagues.

Medically unfit to work in Kuwait

On entering Kuwait, all expatriates including doctors are expected to repeat medical fitness examinations. In rare instances, doctors who passed their medical fitness examination in their home country are found medically unfit to work in Kuwait.

Doctors coming from malaria-endemic regions should ensure they retreat themselves for malaria before presenting for medical fitness in Kuwait. Similarly, doctors from pulmonary tuberculosis endemic regions should ensure they have a normal chest X-ray and a CT scan before travelling to Kuwait.

Please note: if you have had any chest infection then it is better to get a CT scan to rule out any residual lesion because any post-infective changes on the chest imaging whether active or inactive will lead to being declared medically unfit according to Kuwait Ministry of Interior laws.

This article has explained how a foreign-trained doctor can work in Kuwait and also explored the common challenges a foreign-trained doctor who intends to work in Kuwait will encounter.


To work in Kuwait as a foreign-trained doctor is achievable once all the required documents are obtained and submitted. The doctor must also be medically fit according to the medical fitness regulations for non-Kuwaiti doctors. Good luck.

Please use the comment section for comments/ clarifications on how to work in Kuwait as a foreign-trained doctor. Explore Kuwait work visa requirements. Requirements for non-UK trained nurses to practice in the UK and How to work in Kuwait as a foreign-trained nurse.