KUWAIT CITY, Jan 8: Ministry of Health is planning to increase the charges of private rooms in hospitals and medical centers, reports Al-Anba daily quoting a highlevel source. He said the charges of private rooms will be increased by 200 percent for both citizens and expatriates such that a private room will cost KD 3 for citizens and KD 15 for expatriates per day instead of the current daily charges of KD 1 and KD 5 for citizens and expatriates respectively.
The source affirmed that the charges for Bedoun and GCC patients will be the same as that for Kuwaiti citizens which will be KD 3 per day. He indicated that the ministry has been coordinating with the concerned state authorities to endorse this increase so that it can be implemented from February along with increased charges of medical services such as X-ray and laboratory services. Minister of Health Dr Jamal Al-Harbi affirmed that the new health insurance for expatriates will cover all health services provided in the country.
He assured that expatriates will not be affected by the increase in health service charges because of the implementation of the project on visitors and residents. Dr Al-Harbi stressed that the charges will be cheaper than that of the private sector by 20 percent for some laboratory tests.
Regarding the X-ray services and laboratory tests that are unavailable in the private health sector, the charges will be increased by 50 percent.
The minister said the government bears huge cost of medication especially for visitors, who are administered with cancer medicines that are very expensive.
He indicated that such medicines would cost $14,000 in the United States of America and 8,000 sterling pounds in Britain. He reiterated that the increase in health service charges for residents and visitors was the result of long deliberations on the matter, as it has been a very long time since these charges were reviewed.
In this regard, Assistant Undersecretary for Legal Affairs Dr Mahmoud Abdulhadi announced that the ministry will hold a press conference on Tuesday at the ministry’s headquarters to announce the new list of charges for medical services for expatriates. He indicated that those attending the press conference will be specialists in X-Ray and laboratory services in the ministry.
Dr Abdulhadi explained that the last time the charges of the medical services offered by the government were reviewed was in 2010. All that is happening now is updating the charges based on the actual cost of the services. However, it will definitely be affordable for expatriates and will not be overpriced for visitors.
By Marwa Al-Bahrawi Al-Seyassah Staff and Agencies