Kuwait to start medical care segregation on June 1

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Kuwait is to bar foreigners from attending public hospitals in the mornings fronm June 1, local media have reported.

Health Minister Mohammad al-Haifi, who is also a surgeon, ordered that the outpatient clinics at the public hospital in Jahra, west of Kuwait City, will only receive Kuwaiti patients in the morning from next month.

The new system will be applied at the clinics at Jahra hospital for six months on a "trial basis before its application at other (government) hospitals", local papers said.

The decision comes after complaints in parliament of Kuwaiti patients having to wait for treatment at public health facilities because of the large number of expatriates.

Under the change, Kuwaitis will be given priority for medical checkups at public hospitals and clinics during the morning, with foreigners only able to access doctors in the afternoon, unless it is an emergency.

Last month, it was reported that staff also will 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.

Kuwait is home to 2.6 million foreigners, mostly from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Egypt and Syria, and 1.2 million native Kuwaitis.

Kuwait provides free medical services to citizens but expats must pay an annual fee of $175 each besides paying reduced charges for certain procedures like x-ray.

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Posted by: Abdullah

Let me put the entire issue in perspective. There are massive traffic problems on the roads of Kuwait, where Kuwait can boast high road fatalities and there is massive overcrowding in the government healthcare system. So how do the Kuwaitis deal with these issues? Instead of analyzing the problems, implementing the proper legislation in handling these matters and regulating the systems, they took the 'quick fix approach' and start deporting expats. Expats would have been penalized y if strong monetary penalities would have been implemented if the police would get out on the roads and simply gave tickets. There is an overflow in the expat population in Kuwait because of illegal human trafficking by visa traders. There is high unemployment in Kuwait, because of the lack of a development plan, so consequently there are 1,000's of illegals and an over abundance of low-skilled workers in the country that flood the healthcare system. Kuwait needs to handle their problems productively.

Posted by: chezi

Kuwaitis to Kuwaitis? Inshallah that will be implemented strictly so we get to see how they work on their own without the help of the expats.. Good luck! ;)

Posted by: SAM

I personally think this is an absurd policy. However, the citizens of that country want it that way, that's their right. Unfortunately, expats are not represented in parliament and have no pull in this matter. It will always come down to "If you don't like it then leave!" simply because expats are just foreign workers on a temporary work permit and that's it. As another poster has mentioned, they don't like you and do not care about you, so just leave for greener pastures. Whether or not they will suffer in the future due to the loss of an expat's skills is not relevant; they will suffer the consequences, if any.

Posted by: John

I feel this is a racist policy and racism does not belong in healthcare, although if you look at the whole picture as I read these comments, possibly the GCC should analyze their hiring practices. To hire by race is no longer advantageous for GCC companies and the yesteryears of landing that great job in the GCC, with full benefits such as housing, transportation and healthcare are quickly becoming a thing of the past.

Posted by: Emad

Could not put it better

Posted by: Kaptain Saif

It seems Kuwait is catching up the fever of Abu Dhabi..! Finally..!! Marginalizing the expat population which makes the state earn 97% of its wealth, yet they are treated as if they are puppies.

Expats are international puppies, pushed here and there...!!

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