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Thursday , October 1 2020

Imposing health service charges on expats right of the State

Health insurance fees for visit visa should not be more than KD 10: MP

KUWAIT CITY, June 17: MPs have urged the Health Ministry to ensure that its plan to increase fees for health services offered to expatriates — almost the same as the private sector — will not be a burden on expatriates.

MP Dr Waleed Al-Tabtabaei suggested that the price of health insurance for an expatriate on visit visa should not be more than KD 10, indicating the treatment of expatriates must be incorporated with the health insurance linked to their residency — the health insurance which expatriates pay whenever they renew their residence permit although the sponsors bear the treatment cost.

He pointed out there were loopholes that prevented implementation of the health insurance endorsed previously, as the government failed to collect dues from insurance companies so it should rectify the collection mechanism. Talking about the need for those who enter Kuwait on visit visa to obtain health insurance, he said: “I do not see anything wrong in it. Whenever we apply for Schengen visa, we are required to submit a health insurance policy.

However, the health insurance fee should not exceed KD 10 for visitors; given that if the government issues 500,000 visit visas in a year, it will receive around KD 5 million and this amount is enough to cover the cost of any treatment.” He stressed that he is against adding to the financial burdens of visitors as it is possible to cover the cost of any health service through the insurance policy, which should not cost more than KD 10, even if the visitor undergoes surgery. He said the health insurance contract should be awarded to the health company which offers the best services.

Meanwhile, MP Mubarak Al- Harees asserted that “imposing health service charges on expatriates is the right of the State, but we hope it will not be a huge amount. The State should collect dues in exchange for the health services it provides to expatriates. It should never think about increasing fees for citizens because they live in their country so it is their right to enjoy such services.” He said, “We do not know the percentage of the increase the ministry is planning to endorse, but the State should get its right without exaggeration.

For those on visit visa, they should not enter Kuwait just to undergo treatment and the State should be aware of this matter; otherwise, the quality of health services in the country will be affected and this will harm the citizens.” MP Salah Khorsheed is of the view that some foreigners who enter Kuwait on visit visa — whether family or commercial visa — intend to undergo treatment and medical tests here. He called on the concerned authorities to look into the issue and work in accordance with the regulations on imposing fees for expatriates.

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