Govt, MPs to meet to dis­cuss new fees on ex­pa­tri­ates

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE - By A Saleh

A gov­ern­ment-par­lia­men­tary meet­ing will be held in Septem­ber to pre­pare new fi­nan­cial fees on ser­vices and re­view sub­si­dies and ra­tions, in­formed sources said. The gov­ern­ment is in com­mu­ni­ca­tion with MPs to adopt a method to achieve eco­nomic re­forms in­clud­ing im­pos­ing new fees on ex­pa­tri­ates and ser­vices pre­sented to them as other Gulf coun­tries have done, the sources ex­plained. The start will be by im­pos­ing health in­surance on vis­i­tors, they said, adding that the par­lia­men­tary-gov­ern­ment agree­ment is very clear and it is cer­tain that fees will be im­posed on health ser­vices for ex­pats re­sid­ing in Kuwait, and not only vis­i­tors.

Mean­while, the sources said that the ex­ec­u­tive and leg­isla­tive au­thor­i­ties are not in agree­ment on im­ple­ment­ing health fees and ban­ning ex­pats from treat­ment at pub­lic hos­pi­tals, be­cause the health in­surance hos­pi­tals are not ready yet; and those hos­pi­tals will not be able to treat ex­pats with­out the par­tic­i­pa­tion of pub­lic hos­pi­tals. Kuwait has plans to build up to three hos­pi­tals in the fu­ture to treat ex­pa­tri­ates in­sured by a new in­surance pol­icy that would re­place the cur­rent KD50-a-year in­surance plan that en­ti­tles for­eign­ers for treat­ment at pub­lic hos­pi­tals. Po­lit­i­cal dis­cus­sions have in­ten­si­fied in re­cent years to im­pose new fees on pub­lic ser­vices en­joyed by ex­pats in Kuwait, and in­crease cur­rent charges as gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials and law­mak­ers scram­ble to mit­i­gate the ef­fect of the state bud­get deficit caused by the drop in oil prices.

KUWAIT: Could ex­pa­tri­ates soon face the re­al­ity of pay­ing more for pub­lic ser­vices?

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