The Ministry of Health (MoH) is expected to increase the fees collected for health services provided to expats by 15-20 percent and impose health insurance on visitors before the end of the year, Undersecretary Dr Khaled Al-Sahlawi said. A company was last year founded to build three hospitals that will provide medical services for expatriates in the private sector. After the hospitals are completed – tentatively by 2019 – public health services provided by the ministry would only be restricted to citizens and expats working for the public sector, Sahlawi added.
Speaking after attending a meeting with the parliament’s budgets and final statements ommittee, Sahlawi explained that the ministry had formed a committee presided by him to study the fees collected from expats for radiology, nuclear and lab tests and compare them to those collected by the private sector. “The committee found a huge difference despite the ministry’s operational costs being much higher,” he said, pointing out that the committee submitted the study results to Minister Ali Al-Obaidi and expected that the new fees would be in effect soon.
Sahlawi explained that a company was established according to the public-private-partnership (PPP) system in which citizens would own some shares to build three private hospitals and 15 medical centers for expatriates working for the private sector, whose numbers range between 1.75-2 million.