(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The Health, Labor, and Social Affairs committee at the National Assembly endorsed a draft law granting citizens health insurance coverage, said committee chairman Saad Al-Khanfoor, in press statements on Wednesday.
The draft law will avail Kuwaiti retirees registered with the Public Institution for Social Security the opportunity to get health services at all public, and for the first time, private health care providers for no charge whatsoever, said the chairman.
This law will apply to retirees only as a first introductory stage, after which, once proven workable, will also apply to other sectors of society such as children and the rest of the population, young and old, he said.
The draft law was approved by both the government and the lawmakers in the committee, he said, stressing that it will be turned over in the Assembly's next meeting to the entire body of the parliament for universal voting, which he thought would be easily forthcoming.
Minister of Health, Dr. Ali Al-Obaidi, who attended the committee meeting today, told reporters afterwards that the retirees will be issued insurance health cards with which they can get health care at a provider of their choice, be that in the public or private sectors, emphasizing at the same time that insurance companies will be employed to carry out the new insurance approach.
To allay some fears that there might be a massive run on private health providers by insurance card-carrying citizens, the minister affirmed that these providers will be able to serve the retirees without a hitch, especially that in recent times, numerous private sector health services have popped up in many parts of the country, including hospitals and clinics.
The new health insurance law covers many health treatments such as surgery, ex-ray, dentistry, lab tests, hospital stays, emergency room care, all prescribed medications, among a host of other things. All expenses will be borne by the ministry of health with no money coming out of the pockets of the insured.