Kuwait health authorities to ban expats with listed illnesses or conditions

Published:  27 Mar at 6 PM
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Kuwait’s new public health regulations will ban expats with diseases listed by the emirate’s Ministry of Health.

New measures aimed at cutting healthcare expenses and preventing the spread of disease include a long list of medical conditions which will disqualify expat arrivals from entry into the country. Expats already living and working in the emirate who are found to have one of the illnesses or conditions will be allowed to stay unless they have TB, HIV/AIDS or hepatitis B or C, in which case they will be deported.

Given the haphazard nature of the list of illnesses and the fact it only applies to expats, the plan would seem to focus on the costs as a whole of treating expatriates in failing health as well as disallowing sufferers from entry into Kuwait. Those with non-specified ‘contagious diseases’ are likely to face entry bans, along with cancer sufferers and those with weak eyesight or tinnitus (ringing in the ears). Would-be expat professionals with pleurisy or irregular high blood pressure shouldn’t bother to apply, along with those who are cross-eyed, and pregnant women hoping to get a job in Kuwait will be automatically refused and deported.

Leprosy is a communicable disease mostly found in Indonesia, Brazil and India, it also has an incubation period of around five years, so disallowing all expats from these locations and deporting those already in the emirate might be a solution to a future epidemic in Kuwait. TB is also on the list, as are malaria, kidney failure, fibrosis or calcification of the lungs, diabetes and microfilaria, a nasty parasitic illness caused by a roundworm infection.

The final listed health problem, described as 'hypertrophy contractions', is likely to cause a deal of confusion amongst expats unsure whether they’ve got it or not, as a quick online search reveals lots about weight training and not much else. At least those suffering from lameness, yet another forbidden ‘medical condition’, will be easily identified on arrival by Kuwaiti immigration officers.
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