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‘Imposing health insurance on visitors not good for economy’
December 15, 2014, 8:57 am

Several citizens and expatriates have expressed their views on the proposed health insurance for foreigners on visit visa, indicating this move will have negative impact on the commercial market which is usually reinvigorated when family visits increase.

According to Arab Times report, Economic experts have explained that imposing the health insurance on foreigners visiting Kuwait will have negative implications on Kuwait’s vision to transform into a financial and commercial hub in the region. They also highlighted the significant role played by the Parliament in adopting legislation deemed favorable to national economy without hampering its activities.

Chairperson of the Foreign Labor Bureau in the Kuwait Labor Union AbdulRahman Al-Ghanim affirmed that the legislative authority should not impose any legislation that will add more pressure on foreign labor force. He cautioned that if the Parliament endorses the proposed health insurance for those on visit visas, the fees should be within an affordable range for the foreigner who wants to see his children and his wife by asking them to visit him in Kuwait.

One of those interviewed, Umm Hussein, pointed out the health insurance for those on visit visa is a positive move but the charges should not exceed KD 5.

Another foreigner, Hassan AbdulMu’tee, asserted it will be unfortunate for him as he has to pay for the health insurance of his visiting four children and wife, in addition to KD 50 for his health insurance and he rarely benefits from as he ends up paying one or two Kuwaiti dinars whenever he visits the hospital. Emad Al-Enezi added the proposed health insurance fee for those on visit visa is a complete failure. He argued expatriates will continue bringing their relatives with chronic diseases to receive full treatment in Kuwait.

Bu Musa, a citizen, stressed the country benefits a lot from the family visit visa, especially when a husband brings his family to Kuwait for a visit, and usually such visits make the host spend more —up to KD 1000, and that is good for the economy. He said the visit visa charges might prompt the host to decide to visit his family, instead of asking them to come to Kuwait. In the end, Kuwait will lose in terms of economic projects which are supposed to attract visitors.

Meanwhile, economic expert Dr Adel Al-Hamad mentioned that imposing health insurance on holders of visit visas is not a positive measure as far as the private sector is concerned, because this sector invites high profile individuals to the country; let alone the scientific seminars that are organized by this sector, hence, it will be a shame to ask for a fee from someone who is visiting Kuwait to attend such events. Board Director of the Kuwait Contracting Company Federation Dr Salah Bu Rusli explained there are certain obstacles that hamper the performance of the private sector, among them is the proposed health insurance fee for visit visa holders.

He said companies usually bring labor force to Kuwait on visit visas, so the citizens will shoulder the health insurance fees for foreign workers. He added the expatriates with limited income will also feel the brunt once their families visit them here. Economic expert Abdullatif Al- Ahmad the proposal is beneficial to some extent as it will contribute to efforts to develop health services. He said it is difficult for the State to treat someone who is visiting Kuwait considering the crowd in public health facilities

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