MoH ex­empts ex­pat child can­cer pa­tients from fees

Higher health charges in days 30 items, ser­vices exempt from VAT

Kuwait Times - - FRONT PAGE - By A Saleh and Agen­cies

Health Min­is­ter Ja­mal Al-Harbi an­nounced yes­ter­day that non-Kuwaiti chil­dren be­low the age of 12 suf­fer­ing from can­cer will be exempt from di­ag­no­sis, treat­ment and medicine charges. The de­ci­sion cov­ers chil­dren with valid visas who were di­ag­nosed in Kuwait, and cov­ers the costs of di­ag­no­sis, treat­ment and medicine at pub­lic hos­pi­tals and poly­clin­ics. Harbi also an­nounced that the in­crease in health ser­vice fees will go into ef­fect for vis­it­ing and res­i­dent ex­pats within two days. Di­rec­tors of health zones and hos­pi­tals and their deputies will be reshuf­fled too.

Harbi was speak­ing dur­ing the launch of the Sour Al-Watan blood do­na­tion cam­paign. He said the min­istry plans to open a large build­ing of the blood bank in Al-Sabah spe­cial­ized area to serve donors and re­duce the pres­sure on rest of the branches. He added that the blood bank is the first Arab blood bank to re­ceive an in­ter­na­tional recog­ni­tion cer­tifi­cate from the Amer­i­can As­so­ci­a­tion of Blood Banks (AABB) since 1989. It has also re­ceived an out­stand­ing per­for­mance recog­ni­tion from the Col­lege of Amer­i­can Pathol­o­gists (CAP) since 2001, and cat­e­go­rized as an in­ter­na­tional ref­er­ence bank for blood and im­mu­nity dis­eases since 2014.

Separately, a high rank­ing gov­ern­ment of­fi­cial said fi­nal prepa­ra­tions are un­der­way to im­pose 5 per­cent value added tax next year, deny­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of post­pon­ing it and dis­pelling doubts about dif­fi­culty in im­pos­ing it due to ad­min­is­tra­tive and tech­ni­cal ob­sta­cles in the pri­vate sec­tor. The of­fi­cial told AlAn­baa daily the VAT agree­ment’s rules are ready and the Na­tional Assem­bly is ex­pected to ap­prove them dur­ing the next par­lia­men­tary term.

The of­fi­cial said more than 30 ba­sic prod­ucts and ser­vices are exempt from VAT, in­clud­ing: Baby milk and dairy prod­ucts; prod­ucts pre­pared from dairy; food prepa­ra­tion prod­ucts for chil­dren; eggs; tea, sugar and rice; milled prod­ucts; mac­a­roni; fresh meat and poul­try; frozen meat prod­ucts; fresh, cooled or frozen fish; agri­cul­tural prod­ucts that are sold as is; lo­cal fruits and veg­eta­bles; ce­re­als, table salt and spices; open land, build­ing and hous­ing unit sales; equip­ment for those with special needs; bank op­er­a­tions that are lim­ited only to banks; sale and pur­chase of cur­rency at ex­change com­pa­nies; in­surance and re-in­surance ser­vices; ed­u­ca­tion, train­ing and sci­en­tific re­search; health and med­i­cal ser­vices; mass trans­port and taxis, med­i­cally equipped ve­hi­cles for the hand­i­capped; gov­ern­ment ed­u­ca­tion ser­vices.

The Gulf Co­op­er­a­tion Coun­cil has been plan­ning the adop­tion of VAT for a long time in or­der to in­crease non-oil rev­enues. VAT is an in­di­rect form of con­sump­tion tax im­posed in more than 150 coun­tries. It was first im­posed by France. Gov­ern­ments im­pose in­di­rect taxes on cer­tain prod­ucts such as cig­a­rettes, al­co­hol, fuel and re­tail sales. Col­lec­tion of tax is done through com­pa­nies that col­lect it from the con­sumer be­fore pay­ing to the gov­ern­ment, so that it is borne by the end user.

— Photo by Joseph Sha­gra

KUWAIT: Health Min­is­ter Ja­mal Al-Harbi do­nates blood dur­ing the launch of the Sour AlWatan blood do­na­tion cam­paign yes­ter­day.

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