KUWAIT: Minister of Health Dr Jamal Al-Harbi said yesterday that increase of medical care costs for expatriates would not include emergency and critical cases. Managers of hospitals and wards’ chiefs are empowered to look into each case and take the required decision with respect of fees’ payments, the minister indicated in a press release. The higher payments for the medical care have been imposed due to the heavy financial burdens borne by the Ministry of Health, he said.
The Health Ministry has been bearing high costs for medical operations, equipment, medicines, laboratories and various medical supplies, Minister Al-Harbi elaborated. Non-Kuwaitis who have visit visas will get medical treatment at set fees, he added. For his part, the MoH official spokesperson Dr Ahmad Al-Shatti said imposing higher fees for medical care “came in tandem with hike of prices of medical drugs and modern technology globally.”
Medical insurance fees will remain unchanged at KD 50 for an expatriate, KD 40 for the wife and KD 30 for a child. Exempted cases include expatriate children suffering from cancer and aged less than 12, non-Kuwaiti woman married to a Kuwaiti, non-Kuwaiti mother of a citizen, children of a Kuwaiti mother married to a non-Kuwaiti.
The exception is also applied on occupants of social care houses, GCC citizens, illegal residents, members of official delegations, transit passengers and foreign inmates. Others relieved of the higher fees are students of scholarships granted by the Ministry of Education. Blind patients residing at the ministry-run hospitals are not compelled to pay for residency.
MoH workers, their husbands and children do not pay for ex-ray fees and nuclear medical treatment at the public hospitals and clinics. Dr Al-Shatti has also noted that non-Kuwaitis of special needs are to be treated on same par with citizens of same challenges with respect of artificial limbs. The minister of health has issued two decisions raising medical care costs for the expatriates, effective as of today.
Public hospitals and polyclinics in Kuwait will start collecting the increased fees for services offered to expatriates today. The Health Ministry reportedly sent lists containing the new fees to local medical facilities, which include charging KD 5 for visiting the Emergency Department of general hospital, KD 10 for going to outpatients clinics, KD 10 per day for inpatients, KD 30 for staying at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), KD 50 for the private room and KD 200 as deposit. As for maternity, KD 10 will be collected per visit, in addition to KD 50 paid for normal delivery. – Agencies