Health minister Dr. Ali Al-Obeidi has started determining health cases that deserve to be referred for overseas treatment, in line with the directive of the Cabinet to reduce the number of such cases by half.
Sources close to the Ministry of Health disclosed the Cabinet issued a decision prohibiting the extension of the period for natural therapy cases, indicating maximum period of three months for serious cases subjected to medical supervision or surgery.
Sources said Al-Obeidi was forced to switch off his mobile phone before travelling because he was not able to face a huge number of people known as ‘tourist medical patients,’ after the discovery of violation and transgressions that led to squandering of the overseas treatment budget and inability of the ministry to pay the bills.
Sources affirmed the Finance Ministry gave strict instruction to the Central Bank of Kuwait to stop bank transactions from the Health Ministry to the overseas medical treatment offices until the issue is addressed in order to lay down a new mechanism for dealing with overseas medical treatment file.
Kuwaiti patients whose overseas treatments are sponsored by the government are facing a difficult time due to the bleak situtuion resultant from the paucity of funds in health offices abroad such that the latter are threatened with the inability to meet their needs.
Official sources from the Ministry of Health explained that this scenario is happening even though KD 120 million was allocated for that purpose from a budget that exceeded KD 1.823 billion. The Health office in Germany is among the worst hit, as only 350,000 Euros, which is equivalent to KD 160,000 has been allocated to the office.
They wondered about the complete silence over the issue, especially since no official statement concerning when the money will be disbursed to those officers has been issued.
Hinting at the phenomena of poor file management and cases of falsification lately in those offices, the sources indicated that the situation has become worrisome for about 2,400 patients who are under medical treatment in Germany.
They said some of the cases are chronic such as cancer and the treatment of these cases costs around KD 250,000 per patient in a year, adding that a single session of chemotherapy costs about KD 2,500.
Source: Arab Times