KUWAIT CITY, Jan 11, (KUNA): Ministry of Health has announced its intention to form a technical, financial and legal committee to study and update the costs of the health services offered to expatriates in government hospitals, affirming its keenness to ensure expatriates will enjoy the services at costs that suit the variation of each service.
During a press conference, Assistant Undersecretary for Legal Affairs at Ministry of Health Dr Mahmoud Al-Abdulhadi said, “The committee will study the price increase of some types of medicines that are provided to expatriates by the ministry”. He revealed that the list of price increase will be announced in the course of February by publishing it officially in the local newspapers, assuring that, “The prices will suit the price variations of offered services, which include X-Ray service, laboratory tests and Nuclear Medicine treatments”.
Dr Al-Abdulhadi explained that the new charges will be much cheaper than the charges of the same services offered in any private hospital or health center and it will be 60 percent lesser than the actual costs borne by the government.
The last review of the charges of medical services offered to the expatriates was carried out in 2010. Based on that, a report was made in consideration of the government’s service costs and existence of the current health insurance, due to which it will not constitute a burden on expatriates, especially since the costs of the services will be cheaper than the same services in the private health sector.
He said the committee presented its report for it to be officially endorsed by the ministry after the Undersecretaries Council approved the text as a preliminary step towards its implementation in the course of next month. He added, “Visiting expatriates will not enjoy the privileges granted to residing expatriates and their medical services will not be covered by insurance”.
Dr Al-Abdulhadi said the services that are not included in the health insurance policy will be offered to expatriates at a good price, especially the bone density test, which costs the government KD 90 but expatriates will be paying only KD 40, the internal tumor diagnosis tests which are carried out in the nuclear medicine units and costs the government KD 480 but it will cost only KD 250 for expatriates, and adrenal gland tests, which costs the government KD 270 but will be offered to expatriates at a reduced cost of KD 70.
Regarding the new health insurance policy for expatriates, Dr. Al-Abdulhadi indicated that the project is in its last stages at the State Audit Bureau, revealing that the ministry has worked on all the observations that were raised about the policy.
Dr. Al-Abdulhadi stressed that joint contracts will be signed between the ministry and the health insurance company after the insurance project is approved by the State Audit Bureau, in order to establish three hospitals and 15 health centers in various governorates of Kuwait.
He explained that the health insurance policy will be obligatory for expatriates working in the private sector, and they will be completely barred from accessing health services in government hospitals and medical centers. Kuwaitis will not be allowed to benefit from free health services in hospitals and medical health centers designated for the health insurance policy.
Expatriates working in the private sector can receive the document of health insurance if they desire. Dr Al-Abdulhadi said Ministry of Finance, represented by Kuwait Investment Authority, is coordinating with Ministry of Health to determine the financial value of the health insurance and is seeking alternative means to solve cases of inability to pay the new health insurance charges.
He indicated that the cost of sonar scan for pregnant women including the three and four dimension was KD 10 but it will be increased to KD 25, adding that the new health policy will enable expatriates to get medicines that were allocated for only Kuwaitis.