New health insurance system after signing contract with HIC
KUWAIT CITY, Oct 1: Minister of Health Dr Jamal Al-Harbi affirmed that the new system of health insurance for expatriates will not be implemented until the contract with the Health Insurance Company (HIC) is signed. He explained that private health centers and hospitals will be activated to receive and treat expatriates after the contract with Health Insurance Company is signed.
The health insurance policy will cover health services offered to expatriates who work in the private sector. On the other hand, expatriates who work in the ministries, domestic workers and women married to Kuwaitis will receive medical services and treatment in public hospitals and health centers.
In a statement issued on Sunday, Dr Al-Harbi affirmed the continuation of treatment of all expatriates under the new health charges until the contract with Health Insurance Company is signed and the health centers affiliated to the company are established. He said the ministry is on the verge of completing the procedures related to signing the contract and obtaining approvals of the concerned authorities.
Meanwhile, the first few hours following the implementation of the new charges for health services offered to expatriates went by in total calmness. A bit of congestion was noticed in some hospitals, but the general turnout in most public hospitals was very modest on Sunday especially in Al-Razi Hospital, Ibn Sina Hospital and Al-Rashed Allergy Hospital. Al Seyassah daily toured a number of hospitals and specialized health centers. Contrary to expectations, there was significant turnout of expatriates in some hospitals but the turnout varied from one hospital to another, ranging between average and weak.
In Farwaniya Hospital, the first few hours witnessed an average turnout which increased gradually by midday. However, the rest of the specialized hospitals were empty throughout the day except for limited turnout midday and early evening. Several doctors expressed their support for the decision with a number of them, especially those working in clinics and heath centers, expressing their desire to work in hospitals in order to seize the opportunity of expatriate patients’ abstention from hospitals.
A number of people went to West Hawally Clinic just for fun with one of them making jokes about the new decision by saying “We are rich and the old charges are not at our level”. Some others affirmed that the congestion witnessed in the few days prior to the application of the new fees forced them to push back their appointment to when the new charges come into effect when there will be no hustle and bustle. Assistant Undersecretary for Financial Affairs at Ministry of Health Mohammed Al-Azmi disclosed that the Finance Sector visited several hospitals and health centers on Sunday to monitor and observe the use of K-net machines and to respond to inquiries. He said he visited Farwaniya Hospital, as it is the biggest state hospital where 50 new KNet devices were installed to keep up with the congestion.
By Marwa Al-Bahrawi Al-Seyassah Staff