Kuwait’s health minister Dr Jamal Al-Harbi has confirmed a decision to increase dental fees for expats.
The new fees come as part of the wider introduction of charges for various health services introduced earlier this month.
Under the new structure, dental patients will pay KD2 ($6.61) for each visit and then for each treatment they receive.
Mobile prosthodontics for the upper and lower jaws will cost KD30 ($100), denture for either jaw KD15 ($50), partial dentures KD10 (433) and the fixing of a mobile tooth KD5 ($17).
Tooth extraction will cost KD2, but surgical extraction and removal of an abscess will cost KD5 and treatment of fractures of the mouth and jaw will cost KD35 ($116).
Treatment of gums will cost KD5, operations of all types for each tooth will cost KD10. A root canal with partial removal will be KD2 and preliminary treatment for a front tooth will be KD5, increasing to KD10 for a back tooth.
Repeated treatment of a front tooth will cost the same but KD15 for a back tooth.
Temporary fillings will cost KD2 and permanent fillings KD5.
Temporary cleaning and treatment for children will be KD2, a permanent filling KD5 and the root canal of a temporary tooth with a metal crown KD10. A root canal for a permanent filling for children will be KD5, extracting a milk tooth will be KD2, a space protector will cost KD5 for each side
X-rays for all patients will be KD2 per tooth, KD5 for a panoramic x-ray and KD10 for a CT scan.
Exemptions to the new fees include expat children with special needs, cancer patients and those with congenital defects in the mouth cavity up to 12 years of age.
All patients will also only pay once for procedures needing multiple sessions for treatment.
The new fees are designed to boost government revenues and prevent alleged exploitation of the country’s health system by foreigners amid a wider campaign to reduce the foreign workforce.
The government has reportedly halted the hiring of labourers from some countries and is now checking university degree certificates when foreign residents apply for visa renewal.
Foreigners are estimated to account for 70 per cent of the country’s 4.4 million population.
It is unclear if Al-Harbi or other ministers will continue in their current roles after Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah accepted the government’s resignation yesterday following repeated grillings by ministers.