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This study sought to explore main barriers and facilitators to implementing health technology assessment (HTA) in Kuwait from the perspective of key stakeholders.
Semi-structured qualitative interviews were conducted with ten key stakeholders: seven healthcare providers working at various departments of the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health (MOH), and three academics with substantial experience in teaching HTA or related fields. Interviews were conducted face-to-face, audio-recorded, and transcribed verbatim. Data were analyzed using an inductive thematic approach.
Participating stakeholders reported several factors that might act as a barrier to building HTA in Kuwait: minimal awareness of HTA, lack of institutional and human capacity, a fragmented healthcare system, poor communication between researchers and policy makers, the country's wealth, politics, as well as data quality, availability, and sharing. Institutionalizing HTA as a politically empowered body, enforcing its recommendation by law, and benefiting from neighboring countries' experiences were suggested as possible ways to move forward.
Studies exploring the unique challenges that high-income developing countries may face in implementing HTA are still scarce. The results of this study are consistent with evidence coming from other developing countries, while also suggesting that the abundance of financial resources in the country is a double-edged sword; it has the potential to facilitate the development of HTA capacity, but also hinders recognizing the need for it.
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