KUWAIT: Following up the increase in health fees for expats, several ‘explanatory decisions’ have been issued to exempt expats from the fees or from the fee increases, to include husbands of Kuwaiti women holding valid residency visas. The decisions also include collecting the old fees from domestic helpers without any increases.
Another decision exempted patients admitted to ICUs based on medical reports from their doctors, a recommendation from the head of department and the hospital manager’s endorsement. In addition, examination of non-Kuwaiti patients suffering from infectious diseases, those mingling with them or those arriving from stricken countries will be done according to the previous fees.
Health Minister Jamal Al-Harbi yesterday reiterated that the increase in the fees is due to the high expense burden of healthcare on the ministry. Those exempt from the fees include children under the age of 12, cancer patients, non-Kuwaiti women married to Kuwaitis, non-Kuwaiti mothers of Kuwaitis and the daughters of a Kuwaiti mother married to a non-Kuwaiti.
Other exemptions include people receiving care at welfare homes, Gulf Cooperation Council citizens, illegal residents (bedoons), members of official delegations, transit travelers, non-Kuwaiti prisoners and students on a Kuwaiti-funded grant. Also, non-Kuwaiti blind patients will be exempt from overnight hospital stay fees, while non-Kuwaiti special needs cases will be given the same treatment as their Kuwaiti counterparts with regards to prosthetic amputee rehabilitation.
By A Saleh