Kuwait Health Insurance
Kuwait is a small country in the Gulf region of the Middle East, sharing its borders with Iraq and Saudi Arabia. The oil-rich country has been exploiting its lucrative reserves since the 1930's, which has driven the country’s economic prosperity.
The Kuwaiti healthcare system has gradually developed over a number of years, mainly due to income received from the country’s vast oil reserves. The government of Kuwait has been able to invest in, and continue to provide, a good standard of healthcare in the country. The Kuwait healthcare system was severely affected by the Iraqi invasion of the country in 1990, leaving much of the country’s infrastructure destroyed. The health sector was quickly re-developed after the conflict, in a relatively short period of time, to ensure Kuwaiti citizens had access to healthcare services.
Kuwait has been providing public healthcare to Kuwaiti citizens since 1910. The Ministry of Health (MoH) was established in 1936 to oversee the Kuwaiti health sector, with the responsibility for planning, financing, resource allocation, regulation, monitoring and delivery of the Kuwaiti healthcare system. The Kuwaiti health sector is organized into two tiers: the central governance run by the MoH and a regional level - with local health authorities overseeing the healthcare system. Both levels have specific responsibilities for the delivery of quality health services for Kuwaiti citizens and residents.
The healthcare in Kuwait is of a good standard and is comprised of both publicly and privately run healthcare facilities. The Kuwaiti healthcare system is one the best in the Gulf region and is continuing to be developed and improved to meet the changing health needs of the Kuwaiti population. In 2003, 100 percent of the citizens and residents in Kuwait had access to healthcare facilities in the country.
Citizens of Kuwait are provided with free healthcare services in publicly run Kuwaiti hospitals and clinics. Non-citizens of Kuwait, who reside in the country, are regarded as expatriates and must obtain Kuwait Health Insurance from the government run scheme or from a local insurer. This will allow an expatriate access to Kuwaiti publicly run health facilities. A mandatory expatriate insurance law was introduced in April 2000 in order to generate income for the MoH to fund the Kuwaiti health sector and to ensure all residents have some form of health coverage. However, the expatriate insurance does not include access to Kuwaiti private health providers or repatriation costs if needed for certain medical circumstances.
The mandatory health insurance for expatriates in Kuwait requires all premiums for the government Kuwait Health Insurance scheme to be paid in order for the renewal of residency to be granted. If an expatriate in Kuwait takes out health insurance from a local private insurer, the renewal of the residency will only be extended to the validity date of the Kuwaiti insurance policy. The MoH in Kuwait will charge the policyholder of local health insurance for certain medical services, such as laboratory tests and radiological scans, this is in conjunction with costs for the time spent in public healthcare facilities; the fee element depends on the length of stay in the hospital and the treatment received. Expatriates are urged to obtain expatriate international health insurance to give them comprehensive medical coverage in Kuwait, which includes access to Kuwaiti private healthcare facilities and repatriation costs if this becomes necessary due to medical circumstances.
The primary healthcare facilities in Kuwait consists of more than 70 health centres, providing the following health services - general practitioner consultations, maternity care, diabetic treatment care, child care, maternity care, preventive medical care, immunization, nursing care, pharmaceuticals and dentistry treatments.
Secondary public healthcare in Kuwait is administered via state run hospitals in the country. The main public Kuwaiti hospitals are the Sabah Hospital, the Amir Hospital, the Adan Hospital, the Mubarak Al-Kabeer Hospital, the Jahra Hospital and the Farwaniya Hospital. Kuwaiti public hospitals are equipped to provide a range of medical services for in-patients and out-patients, ensuring all Kuwaiti citizens and residents receive the best quality health services.
The Kuwaiti healthcare system has specialized health centres, which are designated to provide special medical services for patients requiring specific health treatments. The Kuwaiti specialized health centres can provide medical treatment for numerous health requirements, including - maternity care, cancer diagnosis and treatment, organ transplants, neurosurgery, pulmonary ailments, mental disorders, allergies, burns, and rehabilitation. The specialized health centres are designed to ensure patients receive the best possible medical care for illness or diseases in specially established healthcare facilities.
The private health sector in Kuwait offers a high quality of medical care. The MoH in Kuwait monitors prices which privately run healthcare providers charge patients. Private healthcare facilities in Kuwait are generally of a good standard, employing doctors who can speak English. The MoH monitors the private health sector to ensure healthcare providers are meeting the standards set by the government. Most privately run healthcare facilities in Kuwait will not accept local medical insurance cover, resulting in patients being required to pay for medical treatment out-of-pocket.
Privately run healthcare facilities in Kuwait include - the International Clinic, the Hadi Private Clinic, the Mowasat Private Clinic and the Al-Salem Hospital, the Mowasat Private Clinic and the Al-Salem Hospital. These health centres offer patients comprehensive medical services, including in-patient and out-patent healthcare services, in modern and medically advanced healthcare facilities. Consequently the expatriate community in Kuwait receives a high standard of healthcare provision. There are also smaller privately run healthcare providers in Kuwait offering medical services such as general practitioner consultations and out-patient treatment.
The Kuwaiti private health sector is encouraged, with the MoH and the Kuwaiti government ensuring private facilities continue functioning in order to provide Kuwaiti citizens more health access and a better quality of medical care. However, private healthcare providers generally focus on curative health services requiring the MoH in Kuwait to concentrate on preventative health measures.
The Kuwaiti healthcare system is faced with numerous health issues, such as escalating costs due to advancements in medical technology and demands from an aging society. In the foreseeable future, the Kuwait healthcare sector needs to continue developing and modernizing to ensure it can maintain the high standards of medical care which Kuwaiti citizens and residents have become accustomed to. In the meantime the MoH in Kuwait closely monitors standards of healthcare provided in both private and public run facilities to ensure the health and wellbeing of the population is upheld.
As an expatriate in Kuwait, you are required to join a mandatory local insurance scheme, in order to have your residency granted. However, expatriates are still required to make out-of-pocket payments towards medical costs in the Kuwaiti public healthcare facilities. The mandatory insurance scheme does not include private treatment in a healthcare facilities or repatriation costs. It is strongly advised that all foreign nationals in Kuwait obtain international Kuwaiti health insurance to ensure you are given full medical coverage in the country; this should include air ambulance services in the policy cover as this medical service is extremely costly if required to be used in an emergency.
As a foreign national in Kuwait you can be assured that the standard of medical care is excellent but it is expensive. The privately run healthcare facilities - catering for expatriates and short term visitors - offer patients medical services in modern, state-of-the-art hospitals or clinics. It is strongly advised that international Kuwaiti health insurance is taken out for the duration of your stay in the country to ensure you are covered financially for any medical costs which may arise from the use of health services in Kuwait.Read on to see how they differ and find out which may be best for you, as well as what must be considered prior to plan selection and purchase.
Health Insurance in Kuwait
International health insurance is strongly recommended for foreign nationals visiting or relocating to Kuwait. International medical insurance plans are the ideal solution to ensure that medical costs will be covered in case of an accident or illness, for yourself and your family, while traveling to, or residing in Kuwait. Policies can be tailor-made to ensure all your needs will be met while in Kuwait. Should you require further information medical insurance, or to receive a free quotation, please do not hesitate to call one of our expert advisers now.