Debate over rise begins as evaluation date awaited
KUWAIT CITY, Oct 28: Member of the Health Committee of the National Assembly, MP Khalid Al-Otaibi has said the committee plans to request to reduce some of the recently approved health fees for expatriates.
He called on the concerned body to take into consideration some of the health fees announced by the Ministry of Health, especially the cost of some costly surgeries and fixing of prostheses. Al-Otaibi said: “We support the increase in health fees for expatriates to keep pace with the increasing price of medical devices and equipment, but at the same time we demand that the humanitarian side must be taken into consideration, especially that there are expatriates with very low salaries, therefore we must consider their circumstances if they need surgeries.”
Al-Otaibi revealed the reduction of some health fees will be on the agenda of the committee in preparation for discussion and prepare a report in this regard, especially as there is a demand to review some of them.
He noted, the fees of some services announced by the ministry in part exceed the prices applicable in some neighboring countries, which necessitates reconsideration.
Meanwhile, the decision to increase fees for health services offered to expatriates remains a controversial issue between those who are for and against it, as everyone waits for the outcome of the Ministry of Health’s evaluation three months after the implementation of the new fees.
Commenting on the issue, Deputy Chairman of Constituent Council of the Constitution Dr Ahmad Al-Khateeb asserted the decision contravenes humane principles on treatment; as well as the customs and traditions. “At a time Kuwait offers financial aid to other countries, it breaks our principles through a decision to increase health fees for expatriates,” he added. He went on to say, “The doctor is obligated to be impartial in the treatment of patients, because he is sworn to treat any patient even if the latter is an enemy and so are those who cannot afford the treatment cost?”