In a recent statement, the Minister of Health, Dr. Khaled Al-Saeed said that the decision to allocate government hospitals to treat citizens only is pending the completion of the “Daman” project for expatriates, which will be submitted to the ministry at the end of this year, indicating that this project is the largest health insurance project in the Middle East.

Far from evaluating this trend from the health and humanitarian or economic points of view, it will be seen as beneficial to the state and the private sector if the cost of health care provided to expatriates is very low for the state and the employer, reports a local Arabic daily.

Recruiting cheap labor from labor-exporting countries will not achieve the required economic feasibility if the health care costs provided to them are high for the state or even for the employer. Thus, allocating government hospitals to citizens only allows the state to provide distinguished health services to citizens, and at the same time allows the provision of appropriate and inexpensive health services in health insurance hospitals for expatriates, and to eliminate overcrowding in many clinics and hospitals.

To clarify the above, the scientific status of expatriate workers in Kuwait by sectors shows the following:

— 51% of the total expatriate workers in Kuwait read and write only, that is, they do not hold any educational qualification. This is divided into 722 thousand workers, or 47% of the total workers in the private sector, in addition to 470 thousand workers, or 64% of the total domestic workers. There are also 44,000 illiterate workers in the private sector, 39,000 domestic workers, and only 1,683 government workers who cannot read and write. If we add all this together, we will find that approximately one million and 300 thousand non-Kuwaiti workers in Kuwait do not have any academic qualifications or cannot read and write. Does it make sense for the state or the employer to incur high costs for their health care that exceed their total annual wages?

— If we exclude domestic and government workers and focus only on non-Kuwaiti workers in the private sector, whose total number is 1.537 thousand workers, according to the statistics of the Public Authority for Civil Information, we will find that 1.214 million workers hold an average degree or less, and they constitute more than 82% of the total number of Kuwaiti citizens themselves. . Thus, the government has two options: to provide normal health services to all, or to incur exorbitant costs to provide equal health care to more than twice the number of citizens.

Some may fault this approach and compare it with developed countries such as Britain, Canada and others that do not differentiate in health treatment between a citizen or resident or others. But the fact of the matter is that the citizen, the resident and even the tourist there pay taxes to the state directly or indirectly.

In addition, the total number of residents and tourists do not exceed a small percentage of citizens, and does not constitute more than double their number, as is the case with us. Thus, the comparison with these countries is not economically correct, because the state there does not bear the burdens of residents and tourists, but rather benefits from them as the employer benefits from them.

If we want to solve this dilemma in human terms, we can only provide health care for low-income immigrants at a level similar to the level of health care they receive in their country or slightly higher. As for those with high incomes, the employer is supposed to bear the costs of appropriate health care for them, given the advanced level of their education and the high level of their monthly wages.

The government has two options:
1 – Providing normal health services to all
2 – Incurring high costs to provide equal care to more than twice the number of citizens

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