KUWAIT/NEW YORK: Health Minister Dr Ahmad Al-Awadhi issued a decision on Saturday to collect fees from expatriates, including residents and visitors, for blood transfusions. The new fees include charging KD 20 for each bag of blood given to an expat resident in Kuwait, and KD 40 for each bag given to a foreigner on a visit visa. Patients who find blood donors are exempt from the fees, according to the new decision.
Public health facilities will also collect fees from expatriates for up to 37 lab tests related to blood transfusions, which range between KD 0.5 and KD 15 for expat residents and between KD 5 and KD 70 for visitors.Later Saturday, the health ministry issued a clarification, saying apart from Kuwaiti citizens, these fees will not be collected from expatriate patients in emergency or urgent cases, cancer patients, children and other humanitarian cases. Fees for bags of blood will be collected only from expats undergoing non-emergency scheduled operations, the ministry said, reiterating that patients who find donors for every blood bag used are exempt from the fees. The decision is made to preserve the state’s strategic reserves of blood, the ministry explained.
Meanwhile, Kuwait’s Consul General in New York Azzam Al-Asfour and head of the Kuwait health office in Washington Dr Faisal Al-Safi inaugurated a ward for Kuwaiti patients at Montefiore Hospital in New York late Friday. The hospital’s initiative came in appreciation of the strong relations with Kuwait and Kuwait’s continuous trust in the hospital for treating Kuwaiti patients, Montefiore President Dr Philip Ozuah told KUNA.
Asfour said New York is a center for specialized and experienced hospitals where Kuwaiti patients tend to receive medical care. He voiced deep appreciation to the hospital for opening a specialized ward for Kuwaiti patients, noting this step will certainly enhance health cooperation further between the two sides.
Meanwhile, Dr Safi affirmed that the office is always cooperating with the best hospitals across the US, as well as sharing medical research experience with the best centers in the country. – Agencies