Kuwait has a public health system managed by the Ministry of Health. Under this health insurance scheme, Kuwaiti citizens benefit from free healthcare.
Over the last few years, Kuwait has invested heavily in the health sector and is increasingly developing its medical infrastructure network.
The quality of care is generally very good, especially in the private sector.
Healthcare formalities for expatriates :
Non-Kuwaiti nationals can also benefit from the public health system and take advantage of primary and secondary medical care at a reduced cost. In return, they have to pay an annual contribution of between KWD 50 (approximately $162) and KWD 130 ($423).
However, it should be noted that this local health insurance does not cover certain medical services such as specialized examinations and tests (X-rays, MRI, etc.).
To avoid high costs, it is therefore essential to take out international health insurance, including repatriation assistance. This will also mean you are covered in private healthcare facilities which provide better quality care.
To benefit from the Kuwaiti public healthcare scheme, you will need to obtain a medical card. To do this, go to a health insurance center where the card will be issued on presentation of your identity card and a copy of your visa or work permit.
For more information on this subject, visit the website of the Kuwaiti government.
If you are an expatriate employee with a local contract, your employer may provide you with a good health insurance plan.
Visiting a doctor
Kuwait has a large number of highly qualified general practitioners and specialists with many of them coming from other countries (USA, Europe, India, Egypt, etc.). You will therefore be able to find an English-speaking health professional without much difficulty.
It should be noted that the country has increased the cost of medical care for expatriates on several occasions. You should now expect to pay between KDW 2 ($6.51) and KDW 30 ($97) for a medical consultation (the cost varies according to the type of facility: polyclinic, public hospital, private hospital, etc.).
Being admitted to hospital
In public hospitals, waiting times are generally very long, so much so that the government has decided to operate specific opening hours for Kuwaiti nationals and expatriates in certain facilities.
On the other hand, waiting times are much shorter, or almost non-existent, in private hospitals.
The country is divided into 5 administrative regions, each of which has a large public hospital, as well as numerous private hospitals and clinics. There are around 20 hospital facilities in Kuwait, including the Sheikh Jaber Al-Ahmad Hospital, one of the largest hospitals in the Middle East.
At the hospital, you will have to pay two types of fees: registration fees and consultation fees.
Vaccinations to be carried out
There are no compulsory vaccinations for traveling to Kuwait. However, you should be up to date with the usual vaccinations (MMR, diphtheria, tetanus, polio, etc.).
Some other vaccines are also recommended: - hepatitis A - hepatitis B and rabies for long or regular stays - typhoid in case of poor hygiene conditions - measles - yellow fever
Go to an international vaccination center for advice on the vaccines you should have.
As of February 2022, vaccination against Covid-19 is no longer compulsory for travel to Kuwait, nor is it required when visiting most public places in the country (restaurants, shopping centers, cinemas, sports halls, etc.). You will still be required to wear a mask.
These measures may be updated. Remember to find out about the health requirements for Covid-19 before your departure.
There are no particular health risks to be aware of before going to Kuwait.
You should, however, take care when it comes to high temperatures. In summer, the thermometer can rise to 111°F (44°C), or even 122°F (50°C) in the hottest months. Make sure you keep well hydrated and stay in the shade to avoid heat stroke and dehydration.
In addition, the dry climate and dust caused by the many construction sites in the big cities, can cause respiratory problems for some people
Good to know
Emergency services and useful numbers
For emergencies in Kuwait, call 112. This number centralizes all the emergency services (fire, police, ambulance, etc.).
You can also contact the US Embassy in Kuwait at this number: 2259-1001 / Outside of Kuwait: 1-888-407-4747.
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