Kuwait's parliamentary health affairs committee has endorsed a report recommending making health insurance mandatory for foreigners visiting Kuwait.
The requirement would be applicable foreigners arriving in Kuwait temporarily and on various types of visit visas.
The report said that the Interior Minister should set the conditions and regulations needed to impose the new insurance on visitors and to decide those to be exempted, reported Kuwait Times. The law will have to be amended to give effect to the proposed mandatory health insurance scheme.
The plan is for the health insurance policies to cover foreigners who will have to seek medical treatment at expat-only hospitals and 15 expat-only health clinics that are currently planned.
Commenting on the proposal for mandatory health insurance to be purchased by foreign visitors, Ms Safa Al Hashem, a Member of Parliament, said: “Such a move will ease the pressure on hospitals where the visiting families of foreigners are causing long waiting lists.”
Interior ministry data show that around 621,200 foreigners visited Kuwait in 2016. In addition, about two thirds of the total population of 4.2 million people living in Kuwait are foreigners, mainly unskilled labourers, domestic helpers and drivers.