Over $1 billion has been spent on cases of overseas medical treatment during the financial year of 2014-2015, reports Al-Seyassah daily quoting reliable sources. Based on recent statistics, Ministry of Health tops the list of authorities that dispatched patients for overseas medical treatment for which about KD 206 million was spent, while Ministry of Interior spent about KD 30 million for this purpose. At the bottom of the list is Ministry of Foreign Affairs which spent about KD 200,000 for this purpose.
However, sources stressed that the statistics does not specify the expenditures incurred by Ministry of Defense for overseas treatment which supposedly would have topped the list of authorities in this regard. They revealed that the high expenditures for overseas treatment have surpassed all limits and reflects the existence of a hidden agenda to please political players.
The sources explained that the expenditures for overseas treatment increased from KD 155,210,000 in 2013-2014 to KD 246,210,000 in 2014-2015 which is a hike of about 58.63 percent within a year. Meanwhile, other sources said this unreasonable hike in the overseas medical treatment expenses raises suspicions of whether the health facility is being used for tourism purposes at the expense of the country and the public funds.
They indicated that most cases of overseas medical treatment are being supported by lawmakers, as the beneficiaries are either their relatives, friends or from their constituencies. The sources said the fact that the hike of overseas medical treatment expenses are usually observed during the summer season with most cases referred to European countries is evidence that the facility is being exploited for tourism purposes instead of its actual role of providing better medical care for citizens.
They added that the cost of overseas medical treatments and prices of realestate have increased in some countries due to increasing Kuwaiti demand. In addition, governmental sources clarified that the recent increase in the overseas treatment cases is due to decision 138/2013, which was recently issued by the Cabinet to increase allocations for patients and their companions, which led to increase in the number of health service allocations particularly in ministries of Health, Interior and Defense.