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Hike in health charges for expats inching closer for implementation

KUWAIT CITY, June 10: The increase in health charges for expatriates is inching closer towards implementation after being postponed from its mid-February deadline.

Minister of Health Dr Jamal Al-Harbi said he will meet the Council of Undersecretaries of the ministry immediately after the Eid Al-Fitr holidays to discuss the issue. Al-Harbi confirmed the meeting and subsequent meetings will lead to a gradual increase in fees.

First, the ministry will target the visitors and gradually the expatriate residents. Al-Harbi said the increase is inevitable, and that the fees on services will be brought on par with the private hospitals.

The increase in fees was approved based on a study undertaken by the ministry to review the charges for services provided by the state to visiting expatriates and added, the fees even after the increase shall be 20 percent less than charged by the private hospitals.

The study has approved increasing fees for radiation and services of medical laboratories, which are calculated at 20 percent less than charged by the private hospitals.

For devices and radiation which are not available at private hospitals, such as nuclear radiation, the expatriates shall have to pay 50 percent of the operating costs.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health will deposit the June salaries of its Kuwaiti and expatriate employees under the ‘pay-for-work’ system to their bank accounts on June 15 — before the Eid Al-Fitr holidays, reports Al-Anba daily quoting sources.

Sources confirmed the Financial Affairs Sector in the ministry has addressed all assistant undersecretaries, health districts, central departments and payroll departments regarding the payment of June salaries to these employees on the aforementioned date. Sources said the sector has requested for the names of nearly 3,000 employees under the ‘pay for- work’ system to process disbursement of their salaries along with other ministry staff within this week.

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