Expats in Kuwait are to be banned from treatment in public hospitals within three years, according to sources inside the health ministry, Kuwait Times reported.
The health ministry has rejected parliamentary pressure to cancel a decision to exempt some expats from increased health fees and only apply the exemption to domestic helpers, children of Kuwaiti women and GCC nationals.
The sources said lawmakers had complained that too many expats have been exempted, such as health ministry staff and others, and that these groups still pose a burden on public hospitals and prevent citizens from getting proper medical services on time.
The sources said the health ministry argued that treating expats in public hospitals will be phased out shortly, adding that it was premature to start such measures now, because health insurance hospitals have not yet begun operations and private hospitals are not currently equipped to deal with all expatriates.
Several voices in the Gulf region are calling on a emiratisation wave after new figures show that foreign nationals account for 75% of the workforce.
A senior MP in Kuwait described nearly a third of the foreign workers in the country as “not useful” and urged the government to gradually deport them, as reported by International Investment.