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Number of patients for overseas treatment to be cut
January 28, 2016, 9:55 am

Director of Capital Health Region Dr. Afrah Al-Sarraf affirmed that the Ministry of Health has been working hard to accomplish some plans and strategies as part of future plans to reduce the rate of patients sponsored on overseas medical treatment.

Dr. Al-Sarraf said the plan is afoot to employ qualified expatriates to work in several medical specialties across the country, so they can treat patients in the public and private hospitals. She noted the plans include the establishment of world class hospitals in the country where the ministry will sign cooperative and coordinating contracts with some reputable medical universities worldwide to treat patients here in Kuwait.

The initiative will serve as an alternative for sponsoring patients on overseas medical treatment. She indicated the best thing at this critical period is to restore the confidence of citizens in local healthcare services by sharing their suffering, identifying their needs, dealing with the shortcomings and improving health services. She appreciated the efforts of Minister of Health Dr. Ali Al-Obaidi and the Undersecretary Dr. Khalid Al-Sahlawi to overcome obstacles in this regard.

For his part, Secretary General of Kuwait Medical Association Dr. Mohammad Al-Qenai disclosed that 75 percent of cases referred for overseas treatment do not merit the recommendation, because they can be treated in Kuwait. He is of the view that referral of some patients for treatment in Europe has become political joke for some people. He affirmed that 98 percent of the cases are part of the healthcare services provided locally, and the “extensive involvement of private sector in healthcare delivery is the best solution for reducing the large number of patients sponsored on overseas medical treatment, and to determine cases that require urgent and appropriate attention”.

Also, a neutral committee can be set up away from the Ministry of Health to review cases presented for overseas medical treatment. “The allocation for overseas medical treatment rose from KD90 million in 1998 to almost KD400 million in 2015, indicating the process involves external interference and loss of confidence in the level of healthcare services in Kuwait.” Contributing to the issue, Head of Pediatric Emergency Unit at the Adan Hospital Dr. Marzouq Al-Azmi stated it is difficult to ignore overseas medical treatment within the next five years.

Source: Arab Times

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