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Health insurance eyed for those on visit

KUWAIT CITY, June 25: A number of politicians and economists have pointed out there is no problem in requiring all those who enter the country on family and commercial visit visas to obtain health insurance before their arrival to Kuwait provided the cost is reasonable, reports Al- Seyassah daily.

They claimed the real problem lies in the fact that requiring health insurance for those who visit Kuwait benefits only the private hospitals. They asked the lawmakers to read well the draft bills in this regard prior to approval in order to avoid putting more pressure on the private sector which always brings many experts in different fields. They argued those who enter the country on visit visas do not affect the services offered by the Ministry of Health because no public hospital nor clinic will receive them unless they present a civil ID to prove they have a valid permit to reside in the country.

Economic expert Adel Al- Hamdan revealed about 40,000 visitors enter the country annually and nearly 500 of them fall sick during their stay; so the lawmakers should ask the executive authority to establish hospitals for visitors with KD5 fee. He warned against making the visitors pay for services in private hospitals as it might harm the country and serve only the interests of the owners of these hospitals. He said this will also prompt other countries to require each Kuwaiti who visits their territories to obtain health insurance. Meanwhile, others support the proposal as long as it will improve services in private hospitals and reduce pressure on public health institutions, affirming they don’t mind if other countries impose a similar rule on Kuwaitis.

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