Expats in Kuwait to face higher medical fees

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Kuwait City skyline view
Kuwait City skyline view. Kuwait’s Ministry of Health is proposing to increase medical fees for expatriates; which is very low at present. The Ministry cites reducing of overcrowding and the need to boost revenues, for the raise in medical fees. Photo-Cajie/Flickr

The government of Kuwait is seeking to propose an increase in medical fees for expatriates living in the country.

The medical services previously have been available free of charge (or at minimal costs) to the expatriates. The Ministry of Health quotes the reason for such a drastic measure as the attempts to boost revenues. Kuwait boasts of an excellent level of healthcare and medical treatment with a predominantly foreign staff; factors that ensure treatment of a medical condition within days without waiting.

Further, the rise in medical fees will also try to address the concern of overcrowding at the medical facilities.

Last month, state officials of the country put forth a proposal to deal with the issue of overcrowding by designating specified hours for both nationals and expatriates exclusively. The plan proposed that the nationals be allowed to seek medical assistance and referrals at the hospitals and clinics in the morning, while the expats be designated evening hours to seek medical assistance. Medical emergencies were excluded from such a distinction. In addition, it was also proposed that the medical staff be segregated according to their nationality.

The Ministry of Health is gauging the possibility of increasing the medical fees for services including surgeries, medical check-ups and lab tests (particularly x-rays) amongst others. The ministry believes that the decreased prices of medical care are not reflective of the high quality of healthcare and medical treatment available at the local medical institutions.

The Ministry of Health intends to forward the proposal to the Health Minister, Mohammad Al-Haifi. However, the timelines for such an action or the implementation of the measure have not been disclosed.

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