Thursday , November 23 2017

High Court rejects suit to cancel new expat health fees

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 25, (KUNA): The administrative department in the Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit filed by a lawyer against the Ministry of Health (MOH) to overturn its decision to increase health care fees for foreigners.

The Fatwa and Legislation Department pleaded on behalf of the ministry of Health and demanded to dismiss the case and submitted a defense memorandum behind the ministry’s decision. The case was first heard by the court last August, and decided on Oct 4 to hold the case for the verdict until today.

Health ministry has issued a decision to increase fees on expatriates due to increase in costs for providing health care services such as surgeries, medical equipment, laboratories and medical supplies.

The decision came into force on Oct 1 with the exception of emergency and critical cases. Earlier, Kuwait Health Minister Jamal Al-Harbi announced the exemption of some categories of expatriates from paying the new healthcare fees.

These exemptions included non-Kuwaitis married to Kuwaiti women. The minister also issued several “explanatory decisions” regarding health insurance, fees pertaining to medical prescriptions and receiving intensive care at public hospitals for non-Kuwaitis, read a ministry statement.

Intensive care fees will be subject to a medical report approved by the doctor and after consultation from the head of the specialised ward, said the minister, adding that domestic workers will not be subject to these fees. He 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 of 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.

Others include people receiving care at welfare homes, Gulf Cooperation Council citizens, illegal residents, members of official delegations, transit travelers, non-Kuwaiti prisoners and students on a Kuwaiti-funded grant.

 

By Abubakar A. Ibrahim
Arab Times Staff

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