Outcry on social media over Kuwait’s decision to impose fees for blood bags for expats.

The decision taken by the Ministry of Health to impose a fee of KD 20 for each bag of blood and its derivatives for for non-Kuwaiti residents who are registered in the health insurance system, as well as to impose laboratory test fees has sparked a popular outcry among citizens and residents, reports Al-Nahar daily.

A massive campaign was organized on social media, calling on the Ministry of Health to rescind its decision under humanitarian considerations.

Medical circles described the decision as “hasty and ill-considered”, stressing that its implementation will have negative effects, even at the level of blood stocks in the blood bank, which always makes appeals to the public to donate due to a shortage in its strategic stock of blood.

They revealed that the data related to the blood bank revealed that 65 percent of the donors are expatriates.

They said they wondered how blood can be taken from them as a “donation” and then sold to them when needed.

They highlighted that in 2022, 84,500 units of blood cells and 7,000 units of platelets were collected from citizens and residents of more than 75 nationalities.

They stressed that such a decision will discourage many from donating their blood, and instead choosing to do so only when asking for a donation for their relatives or friends or for emergency humanitarian assistance from expatriates, as the ministry exempted those who have donors from financial fees.

The Ministry of Health had issued a statement clarifying the decision regarding the fees for blood bags.

It affirmed that the decision exempts a patient from all fees if there is a donor for each blood bag or its derivatives.

The Ministry of Health explained that the fees will not apply to Kuwaiti patients, emergency or critical cases, cancer cases, children of non-Kuwaiti patients, or other humanitarian cases. They are limited to specific categories such as non-Kuwaiti patients of non-emergency and pre-scheduled operations. This is within the framework of preserving the national strategic stock of blood and its derivatives.

Source- Arab Times.

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