In addition to contagious diseases such as Tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and C, and HIV/Aids, expatriates suffering from diabetes will also no longer be allowed into the country.

According to the Director of Public Health in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Fahad Al-Ghumlas, the decision to stop diabetic patients from entering the country for work and preventing them from residing in Kuwait, is intended to relieve the pressure on the health budget and saving the cost of having to treat expatriate diabetics at state expenses.

Dr. Ghumlas added that medical test for expatriates before entering the country has to do with health and national security, which Kuwait would not treat with levity. This is the reason the list of diseases for which expatriates must undergo tests will be updated regularly to be reviewed by concerned GCC committees for amendment, depending on the prevailing developments in general.

He said the recommendation for 2019 list will be approved within the next few days to include diabetes and other diseases. He said he did not want to mention other diseases to be included on the list since it is yet to be approved officially, while some minor cases such as anemia, which will not cost the country too much, will be removed from the list.

Responding to the question as to whether it is the cost of managing non-contagious chronic diseases, which do not portend any danger to others, was the main reason for adding diabetes to the list, Dr. Ghumlas explained that diabetes indirectly leads to death considering the complexities involved, such as sight, kidney, heart, feet and other diseases. He stressed that the whole purpose of recruiting expatriates is for them to have the strength and ability to work, not to become a liability for the state.

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