Kuwait MPs seek to remove exemptions from expat healthcare fee increase

Non-Kuwaiti wives and mothers of Kuwaiti citizens, GCC citizens and other groups are exempt from new healthcare fee increases for foreigners



Members of the Kuwaiti parliament are reportedly seeking a review of recently announced increases to healthcare fees for expats with an eye on removing exemptions for some groups.

The new fees, announced last week, mark the first increase in the cost of healthcare in the country for more than two decades.

They include the more than doubling of costs for most services and new levies for treatment that were previously free for foreigners with health insurance.

Read: Kuwait to introduce higher healthcare fees for foreigners

However, a number of exemptions for the higher treatment costs were announced including children under 12 years of age suffering from cancer, non-Kuwaiti wives and mothers of Kuwaiti citizens, children of Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaiti husbands, residents of care homes, GCC citizens and bedoons.

Other exemptions include official delegations, transit passengers, foreign prison inmates, illegal residents, scholarship students and blind patients and handicapped foreigners in need of prosthetic limbs.

Kuwait Times cited sources as saying MPs have no right to oppose the decision but many believe a legislative review would be helpful in passing the law.

The parliamentary committee for health is said to agree with the increases in principle but objects to the granting of exemptions to certain groups, according to the publication,

Similarly the committee for education will also discuss a proposal to remove an exemption allowing the children of Arabic public school teachers to join government schools, it said.

This follows a proposal from education minister Mohammed Al-Fares to remove the exemption to save the state thousands of dinars.

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