Kuwait City
An aerial view of Kuwait City skyline. Image Credit: AFP

Dubai: Amid concerns of medicine shortages, expatriates in Kuwait may soon face increased health service fees. As discussions continue, the Health Affairs Committee has postponed its decision, seeking further insights before presenting recommendations to the National Assembly.

According to reports, the Ministry of Health's statements on the matter have been noted for their inconsistency. While some acknowledgements point to global disruptions like supply chain breakdowns and raw material shortages, others shy away from using the term 'shortage'. Instead, they suggest an inability to meet the medication requirements of patients, be it with primary drugs or their alternatives.

Despite these challenges, the Ministry assures the presence of a robust strategic drug reserve. To further drug security, initiatives such as sourcing diversification are being considered, aiming to mitigate the effects of international disruptions. Additionally, strategies like automated linking and revised expatriate medicine distribution fees are being explored to curtail medicine wastage.

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The broader health challenges facing Kuwait, the Ministry said, stem from more than just drug shortages. They envelop global issues like interrupted supply chains, scarcity of raw materials, and the aftershocks of the COVID-19 crisis.

As discussions about fee revisions continue, two major developments are in focus: the upcoming launch of “Daman” hospitals and the implementation of the visitor health insurance law. This new law specifically requires a review of insurance pricing for government-provided services.