Kuwait eyes higher medical fees for expats

Ministry of Health study finds fees do not currently match quality of medical treatment
Doctor, nurse, healthcare, medical generic
By Daniel Shane
Sun 10 Mar 2013 10:42 AM

Kuwait’s government is considering increasing fees it charges expatriates in the Gulf state for medical services in a bid to boost revenues and reduce overcrowding at facilities, it was reported.

According to English language daily Kuwait Times, the Ministry of Health is currently investigating the possibility of collecting higher fees for services including medical checkups, surgeries and x-rays, among others.

“There is a belief within the ministry that the fees are currently inadequate to the quality of services given,” an anonymous source close to the investigation told the newspaper.

The report did not provide details on when the proposal would be referred to the oil-rich Gulf state’s Health Minister Mohammad Al-Haifi, or when the rise in fees may be introduced.

Last month, lawmakers in Kuwait proposed reducing overcrowding at the country’s medical facilities by designating specific hours of the day that nationals and expats can seek medical assistance, in a proposal some described as racist.

Under the plan, only Kuwaitis would be allowed to attend hospitals and clinics in the morning, while non-nationals would be treated only in the evening.

Staff also would be segregated according to their nationality, while emergencies would be excluded from the plan.

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