Expats in Kuwait to face huge heathcare cost increases

Published:  9 Jan at 6 PM
Want to get involved? Become a Featured Expat and take our interview.
Become a Local Expert and contribute articles.
Get in touch today!
Tagged: Visas, UAE
Kuwait’s unenviable position as one of the least satisfactory destinations for expats is about to get even worse as the government announces massive increases in heathcare costs.

According to the Kuwait Times and other English language media, heathcare charges are to be increased by up to 500 per cent, beginning in mid-February. The price hike is intended to end the emirate’s popularity as a hub for medical tourism as, according to a government spokesperson, the cost to users at present is lower than the costs of actually providing the services.

Health minister Dr Jamal al Harby is quoted as having said medical service costs are burdening the state and giving rise to ever-increasing numbers of health tourists attracted by low charges for advanced medical examinations and nuclear-based tests. He also quoted rising prices for medications and medical equipment as a reason for the price hike.

The price increases will consist of two layers, creating less stringent increases for expats in the emirate and huge increases for health tourists. Examples include fees for cardiac testing and ischemic heart tests at present costing £33 are due to rise to £165 for expats and $330 for visitors. Tumour treatments using TheraSphere now costing $330 will rise to $1,635 for expats and a massive $16,350 for visitors. Advanced and nuclear examinations are in line for increases to 50 per cent of the actual costs involved.

As announcements and immediate denials aren’t unusual in the UAE, expats may not be surprised that, on January 8, the Kuwait Ministry of Health was reported as saying the initial reports were untrue as the increasing of heathcare charges is still under discussion.

A top official is reported as having insisted no figures have as yet been endorsed as well as assuring the media that medical tourists rather than expat residents will be the ones to bear any increased charges. He added those expats with valid residency permits will be covered by Kuwait’s newly-introduced heath insurance scheme.
Like this news?

Comments » No published comments just yet for this article...

Feel free to have your say on this item. Go on... be the first!

Tell us Your Thoughts On This Piece:

Your Name *
Email * (not published, needs verification one time only)
  • Facebook
  • Follow us on Twitter
  • RSS feed
  • Facebook

Latest Headlines

News Links

News Archive