Expats trapped in Kuwait for not paying hospital bills

Published:  12 Dec at 6 PM
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Kuwait is now issuing travel bans to expats who’ve not yet paid their hospital bills.

The above headline will be all too familiar with expats in Thailand who’re also being accused by the junta government of leaving without paying medical charges, an accusation roundly rejected by the expat community. Kuwait’s reaction to unpaid hospital invoices appears to sound very similar, in that the emirate’s State Audit Bureau is reporting it’s non-Kuwaiti nationals who’re heading for the airport without paying for treatment received.

Local media reports are stating that, in cases involving non-payment of charges due, those responsible must sign an undertaking that fees must be paid before leaving the country. In cases of non-payment, the Interior Ministry will be instructed to ban offenders from leaving. It seems travel bans are the flavour of the year for official attempts to chase debtors, as some 66,000 locals and expats have been served with them over the past year.

Given that Kuwait is also planning to ban those with certain diseases from entry to the country, and taking into account the Emirate’s dismal results in a recent expat survey, it seems that the glory days of high salaries and an exotic lifestyle might well be over for the international expat community. Kuwait City is now the holder of the ‘world’s worst city for expats’ title, with blaming expats for unpaid hospital bills hardly the way to improve its image as well as the lifestyles of those expats who’re improving Kuwait via their hard work and expertise.
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