Minister of Health Dr. Ali Al-Obaidi said on Sunday that financial decisions regarding medical treatment abroad are within the Cabinet's discretion, while technical decisions are determined by the health minister.
In a statement to reporters after meeting with a special healthcare and social committee to discuss the issue of medical treatment abroad, Al-Obaidi said that the quartet which consists of the ministries of defense, health, interior and oil, has refereed the issue to the Cabinet, which has decided on a sum of KD 75 per patient.
Moreover, Al-Obaidi said that several MPs have called for reconsideration of cases where a patient would require more than one companion. This issue will be further discussed, keeping patients' welfares in mind, he added.
As part of new regulations, cases requiring natural treatment will no longer be eligible for treatment abroad, as there are sufficient medical centers in the country that provide such treatment, Al-Obaidi said.
To simplify the process, Al-Obaidi said, patients no longer have to visit the department of treatment abroad, instead, their doctors can assist them in completing the process for treatment abroad.
Al-Obaidi also disclosed that cases would only be deemed urgent if a patient is required to be present in a hospital abroad for a period exceeding two weeks.
The Minister has no say in referring patients abroad, rather, it is the special health committee that has been authorized to decide, Al-Obaidi revealed.
The Health Minister said that these new rules will be referred to the National Assembly, due to be discussed in its session on March 16. "All suggestions made during the session will be taken into consideration," he said.