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Expats to pay more for medical checks - Insurance eyed on visit visa
November 4, 2014, 8:36 am

Ministry of Health is planning to increase the medical fees for expatriates by 15 percent particularly for the medical examination services, which will be free only for emergency cases, reports Arab Times citing Al-Rai daily quoting reliable sources.

They revealed that the ministry is following its health reform agenda, which it had announced recently, to control any disorder in this domain. The sources explained that the ministry’s intention to increase the medical fees is based on a comprehensive study which was discussed during the meeting of the medical councils.

The study was related to the costs of medical systems and apparatuses, and of services related to medical examinations which are currently being provided to expatriates at a low cost. However, these examinations are ten times more expensive in private hospitals than in public hospitals.

Meanwhile, the procedures taken by the ministry to control the number of overseas treatment cases have led to its reduction by almost 50 percent. Sources explained that the number of patients sent to London for treatment has reduced from 1,100 to 500 recently.

This was because of the procedures that were recently applied to reduce the financial allocations provided to the patients’ companions.

The parliamentary Health, Social and Labor Affairs Committee has approved, in principle, the proposal requiring foreigners who enter the country on visit visas to obtain health insurance. Speaking to reporters after the committee meeting on Monday, Committee Rapporteur MP Sadoun Al-Hammad Al-Otaibi said the committee discussed the proposal, particularly the need to get approval from the concerned authorities to implement it.

Meanwhile, observers see the health insurance proposal as a bid to curb medical tourism which they say is becoming rampant.

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