Diabetic expatriate professionals no longer welcome in Kuwait

Published:  26 Nov at 6 PM
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Tagged: Citizenship
Kuwait’s Ministry of Health has announced a new ruling naming a number of non-infectious diseases now to be added to the existing list of conditions which prevent expatriates from getting permission to live and work in the emirate. At present, HIV/Aids, hepatitis B and C, tuberculosis and several other highly contagious diseases prevent those affected from entering Kuwait, but the new list will include diabetes and other non-infectious illnesses.

According to a spokesperson for the ministry, the extending of the list has much to do with the increasing cost of providing medical care for non-Kuwaiti citizens living and working in the state. The list is as yet unpublished as the various illnesses have not yet been fully approved, but minor cases of anemia are likely to be removed from the list as they are cheap to treat.

When pressed on the inclusion of diabetes, he said the cost of managing the condition is comparatively long-term, adding that diabetes indirectly causes eventual mortality through complications such as kidney or heart problems and vulnerability to fatal infections. The essence, he added, of recruitment of expats is that they should be strong and healthy in order to avoid becoming a financial liability to the emirate.

Interestingly, a recently released report revealed that almost half a million Kuwaitis are diabetic, with the numbers representing 15 per cent of the entire local population. Some 200,000 more have yet to be tested for the condition, and numbers are expected to double within the next 15 to 20 years.
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