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Expatriate Patient visits decrease by 25% after applying new medicine fee.

Health sources revealed to Al-Rai that preliminary estimates indicate a decrease in the rate of expatriates visiting health centers by between 20 and 25 percent, since the imposition of fees for dispensing medicines as of December 18, at 5 dinars for health centers and hospital accidents, and 10 dinars for outpatient clinic.

The report also added that about 30 to 40 percent of the expatriates, according to preliminary estimates, go to the private pharmacies to buy their medicines.

News article of Kuwait Times had published that The health ministry on Sunday 18th December 2022 imposed new charges on medicines for expats at public clinics and hospitals on top of old fees, as the ministry bids to resolve a shortage of medicines in the country. The ministry imposed a fee of KD 5 on expats for receiving medicines from public clinics or from hospital emergencies and KD 10 for receiving medicines from outpatient clinics at hospitals.

The new charges come on top of the old fees of KD 2 per visit to public clinics and KD 10 for visiting hospitals. The charges and fees apply to expats who pay annual charges to be covered under the government health insurance scheme. Every expat is required to pay an annual fee of KD 50 to be able to receive medical treatment at health ministry facilities. Expats also pay a variety of charges for surgeries, radiology services and others.

The ministry of health also barred dispensing a number of key medicines to expats on top of around 80 medicines banned in 1997. The measures come as part of the health ministry’s efforts to resolve an acute shortage of vital drugs in ministry stores.

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