KUWAIT: Health Minister Jamal Al-Harbi yesterday issued two ministerial decisions to increase health fees that will go into effect from Oct 1 in all hospitals and health centers. The move is part of the government’s plan to revise service fees due to the rising cost of medicine and medical services, and as per the recommendations of technical committees that evaluated health service fees at hospitals and health centers for expatriates and visitors, as these fees have not changed since 1993.
The first decision includes fees for health services for non-Kuwaiti visitors and those not registered in the health insurance system. The second decision decides fees for health services for expats who are included in the health insurance system. The decisions do not include any increase in health insurance charges – these will remain at KD 50 for an expat worker, KD 40 for his wife and KD 30 each for his children.
The decisions took into consideration and exempted some cases over humanitarian and social circumstances, within the rules. Exemptions include the following categories: Children under 12 suffering from cancer; non-Kuwaiti wife of a Kuwaiti citizen; non-Kuwaiti mother of a Kuwaiti; children of a Kuwaiti woman married to a non-Kuwaiti; inmates of care homes; inmates of social care homes; GCC citizens; bedoons (stateless residents);
members of official delegations; transit passengers; foreign prison inmates; scholarship students at the education ministry; blind patients in private rooms of ministry hospitals; all employees of the health ministry, their spouses and children are exempt from x-ray and nuclear medicine fees. The decision stipulates that handicapped non-Kuwaitis shall be treated as Kuwaitis with regards to prosthetics.
Meanwhile, the committee studying the various subsidies kept the prices of petrol as is, and reduced the prices of diesel and kerosene for August to 105 fils from 110 fils. Meanwhile, UAE and Oman raised prices of all types of petrol and diesel, while Qatar kept prices as is.
Separately, government sources told Al-Anbaa daily that Kuwaiti insurance companies are seeking official approval to raise third-party vehicle insurance from KD 20 to KD 100, an increase of 400 percent.
The current fees have been the same for more than 55 years, since the issuance of law 24/1961 with regards to insurance companies and brokers. The sources said most insurance companies are reviewing insurance programs to get official approval.
By A Saleh, Staff Writer