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Kuwait mulls compulsory health insurance for visitors
May 13, 2014, 5:26 pm

Visitors to Kuwait could soon be forced to buy health insurance for the duration of their stay after the Kuwaiti parliament’s legislative committee accepted the proposal put forward by a MP.

MP Khalil Al Saleh told Al Watan Arabic daily his proposition also stated visitors could only be treated in private hospitals.

Access to health services is controversial in Kuwait, where two-thirds of the population are expats and the country has not built a new hospital in decades.

The Health Minister earlier this year announced it intends to build nine new hospitals, although it made a similar pledge more than a decade ago.

Last year, it segregated access to hospitals, banning expats from attending public facilities in the morning, except in an emergency.

Kuwait provides free medical services to citizens, while expats pay an annual health insurance fee of $175 plus partially subsidised charges for certain procedures.

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