Kuwait to increase health charges for expats

Published:  5 Jan at 6 PM
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Tagged: Visas, Study Abroad
Following a study of health service fees, the Kuwait ministry of health is due to announce increased health charges for expats in the emirate.

The recent study reviewed expat health service charges with the aim of aligning them more closely to the actual costs, with the result that charges will now be set at an increased level affordable for expats. All loopholes are to be closed in order to protect public funds, and methods of collection are to be upgraded.

The increases, described as inevitable, are due to come into effect in the near future and are expected to be no higher than those in effect in the private sector but may be lower by around 20 per cent. Certain treatments as well as emergency and accident cases will still be free, and nuclear medicine is expected to cost less as it is not in use in the private sector.

A recent report in the Arab Times citing Kuwait's plan to deport around a million expatriates has spurred fierce opposition for representatives of the sector concerned. Although the move is not expected to involve expat professionals from Western countries, concerned diplomats are suggesting it will negatively affect the emirate’s world reputation. The deportation proposal was seemingly put forwards as a way to bring expat numbers down to par with Kuwaiti national numbers.

English language daily newspaper The Gulf Times has reported that, under a new law, expat professionals in Qatar can now leave the country either on a temporary or permanent basis before the expiry of any contract. The one stipulation is that the employer must be informed of the employee’s intention to leave.

Should the employer object, the expat employees is entitled to apply to the exit permit grievances committee, with resolution given within three days. Basically employers are now obliged to sanction applications to leave, especially in cases of emergency, and must honour contractual obligations as regards expats’ right to leave.
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