Bill imposing fees for medical services offered to visitors set to pass – Proposed fees necessary: Al Saleh

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 17: The bill on imposing fees for medical services offered to expatriates who enter the country on visit visa will most likely be passed through the parliamentary Health Affairs Committee to become a law, especially since the government showed positive indicators of its passage, reports Arab Times daily.

Although the bill was submitted to the previous Parliament and tabled for discussion by the then Health Affairs Committee, it was put off for further consultations and elaboration of details to fulfill the desire of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. MP Khaleel Al-Saleh submitted the bill again followed by the government’s approval considering the system is practiced in most countries.

In a press statement, Al-Saleh affirmed that the proposed fees are necessary and the bill is an important national demand. He emphasized the bill will see light in the current Parliament, “especially since the government is convinced that it is proper and it is considered one of the steps towards reducing pressure on government hospitals and stopping wastage of medicines.”

He affirmed his proposal got approval from the government after some opposition from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when he submitted it for discussion to the Health Affairs Committee in the previous National Assembly. He pointed out a comprehensive health insurance policy for expatriates guarantees stopping wastage of public funds, eliminate chaos in providing treatment, activate role of the private sector and reduce pressure on government hospitals. He explained the bill obliges the sponsor of a visiting expatriate to attach a comprehensive health policy recognized by a licensed insurance company for the visitor to receive free health services throughout the period of stay in Kuwait.

Meanwhile, Chairperson of the committee MP Saad Al-Khanfoor clarified the bill was discuseed in the previous Parliament and the panel decided to put it off, indicating resubmitting it necessitates discussion with concerned parties.

Committee Rapporteur MP Khaled Al-Otaibi believes the bill will be endorsed once it is discussed in the committee taking into consideration the current critical economic situation, let alone the fact that this system is practiced in many countries.

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