Government said to be considering direct intervention in private health sector to cut costs
The Kuwaiti government is considering intervening in the private health sector to force providers to reduce their fees for medical treatment and services, Kuwait Times has reported.
During a meeting on Sunday, Ministry of Health officials recommended measures to cut fees at private hospitals and medical facilities.
A final decision is expected to be made by Minister of Health Dr Haywf later this week.
Kuwaiti citizens and expats are often forced to attend private medical centres because free or low cost government facilities are notorious for long queues and waiting times.
The private facilities are significantly more expensive, with patients usually charged simply to open a file, according to Kuwait Times.
The government recently launched a trial to segregate expats and nationals at public hospitals and clinics in a bid to reduce waiting times for citizens.
During the six-month trial, Kuwaitis will be given priority for medical checkups during the morning, with foreigners only able to access doctors in the afternoon, unless it is an emergency.
Staff also have be segregated according to their nationality, with Kuwaitis working in the morning and expat doctors in the afternoon.
The move is seen as favourable to Kuwaitis while reducing the level of care given to expats, who make up about two-thirds of the Gulf state’s population but would have fewer hours they could seek medical attention.