Revenues from expats’ health insurance in Kuwait up by 15% last year

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MoH eyes unifying med prices with neighboring countries

KUWAIT CITY, Dec 25: Official statistics revealed that the Ministry of Health’s revenues from health insurance for expatriates increased by 15 percent or KD13 million last year – KD100.2 million in fiscal 2021/2022 compared to KD87.116 million in the previous fiscal year, reports Al-Anba daily. The statistics showed that the ministry received KD490.6 million for health insurance services over the past five years ($1.6 billion dollars at an exchange rate of 304 fils per dollar).

The amount collected in fiscal 2017/2018 was KD94.59 million, KD101.43 million in fiscal 2018/2019 and KD107.28 million in fiscal 2019/2020 – the highest so far. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health will study the possibility of unifying prices of medicines with neighboring countries, reports Al-Rai daily quoting sources. Sources confirmed that the concerned officials in the ministry and other government institutions had earlier discussed this issue with the Federation of Drug Importers. They said Minister of Health Dr Ahmed Al-Awadi is keen on completing this step to provide patients with safe medicines at reasonable prices.

In a related development, the ministry added 26 medicines to the list of medicines that are exclusive for citizens as per a circular distributed to pharmacists and doctors in health districts; stressing these medicines should not be given to expatriates.

Earlier, the ministry issued a decision to regulate the distribution of 372 medicines to Kuwaiti patients to prevent wastage, rationalize spending by giving alternatives to non-Kuwaitis, and collect KD5 fee for medicines given to expatriates in public clinics and KD10 in public hospitals. In the meantime, domestic labor expert Bassam Al-Shammari said the collection of treatment or medical service fees from domestic workers in hospitals or clinics contravenes Domestic Labor Law number 68 of 2015, reports Al-Anba daily. In a statement to the daily, Al-Shammari affirmed that the law does not allow any deduction from the salary of a domestic worker. He made the clarification in view of Health Ministry resolution number 383 of 2022 on increasing medical fees for expatriate workers, including the household workers. He pointed out this is an additional problem for the domestic labor market, which has been suffering due to the high cost of recruiting domestic workers – a huge burden for the owners of domestic labor recruitment offices and household heads.

He warned that the new resolution will increase the number of complaints between the sponsors and workers, not to mention the reluctance of domestic workers to work in households. He urged employers to abide by the Domestic Labor Law, stipulating that the monthly salary of the worker should be calculated from the actual date he started working and no amount should be deducted from the salary. Article Nine obliges the employer to shoulder the domestic worker‘s food, clothing, treatment, nursing and housing expenses.

The Ministry of Health confirmed that the methodology for providing health services has not undergone any change, denying all that is being published about the abolition of separation when it comes to providing health services for men and women, reports Al-Qabas daily. In a statement published on its official account on Twitter, the ministry stressed that all medical institutions are committed to protecting and preserving the patient’s right to privacy and the confidentiality of information, stressing the need to receive news from official sources and to be careful when publishing controversial reports

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