Kuwait Introduces Tough Hepatitis C Screening for Expats

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KUWAIT CITY, March 30: Minister of Health Dr Ahmad Al-Awadhi recently issued a ministerial decision; stipulating that a newly arrived residency applicant will be considered medically unfit if the result of his laboratory test for hepatitis C is ‘indeterminate’, reports Al-Rai daily. The use of polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test is prohibited in these cases, and the relevant decisions and regulations are applied. An expatriate with two ‘indeterminate’ hepatitis C laboratory test results at least four weeks apart are allowed to undergo a PCR test. Those with a positive PCR test result will be considered unfit, so the above-mentioned decision and the relevant regulations will be applied to him.

If the PCR test result is negative, the residency permit will be renewed for a year and the PCR test will be repeated after one year. If the test result is negative again, the expatriate is considered fit. It is worth mentioning that this decision is in line with the Council of Ministers’ resolution stipulating mechanisms for dealing with positive or negative cases, adding health oversight to unspecified cases.

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