Kuwait has revamped its generous healthcare scheme for treatment abroad, slashing the daily allowances offered to patients and their companions.
The decision is part of wide-sweeping measures that aim to improve healthcare locally and reduce the need to send patients abroad. Under the new plan adopted by the cabinet on Monday, a patient who is sent abroad for treatment will get KD75 a day instead of KD100. His first companion will receive only KD50 per day, down from KD100, while the second companion will no longer be offered the KD100 financial benefit and will have only the air ticket.
Kuwaiti nationals have long benefited from the generous healthcare scheme adopted by the government for the sake of patients sent abroad for treatment. However, several lawmakers claimed that the scheme had been abused at several levels, including the process of selecting the patients who are sent abroad. Health officials pledged to address the issues.
The cabinet at its session this week said that the health ministry would recruit outstanding consultants from all over the world to treat patients in Kuwait instead of sending them abroad, local daily Al Qabas reported. The health ministry will also work on encouraging renowned clinics to open facilities in Kuwait in a move that reduce the number of patients who seek treatment abroad.
Measures and requirements will also be eased for local investors to open medical facilities in the country and boost the standards of local medical services. The health ministry will start referring patients in specific cases to the local private medical facilities, the cabinet said.