Expats who suffer from cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, and several other illnesses will no longer be able to obtain residencies in Kuwait, Al Watan newspaper reported

The news comes after the country's Ministry of Health released a list of 22 illnesses that make people ineligible to apply for permanent residency status in the country. 

Other illnesses featured on the list include renal failure, vision problems, squinting, and tens of others.

In her statement on the matter, Assistant Undersecretary for General Health Affairs in the country's Ministry of Health, Majida Al Qattan, confirmed the news, stating that it comes in line with a GCC council decision which dates back to 2001. 

She also explained that the main aims behind the decision are to reduce the costs of expat health care on the country's government and ensure that expats arriving in the Gulf state are fit to work. 

It's expected that the move will be criticized

Before the implementation of the most recent expat ban, Kuwait did bar people with infectious diseases from entering or leaving the country, as per international laws. 

Those diseases include Aids, Herpes, Hepatitis B and G, Malaria, Leprosy, Syphilis, Tuberculosis, and Gonorrhea. 

However, this is the first time the country bans people with non-infectious illnesses from entering it. 

Speaking to Al Watan, sources said the most recent move is set to be criticized by international human rights organizations because it is unusual to ban people from entering countries if the illnesses they suffer from are not infectious. 

The source added that the list now being implemented was introduced to the Gulf state's government eight years ago but was not approved until earlier this year. 

Last year, Kuwait increased expat health fees

In October 2017, Kuwait increased all public health fees for expats for the first time in two decades. 

At the time of its implementation, the decision was widely criticized by many who said it was unfair.

The fee hike came after several parliamentarians argued that since the Gulf state's oil revenues are dropping, it could no longer afford providing health care to expats for low prices or for free. 

Some also said that given that 70 percent of the country's population is made up of expats, the move would help reduce the load on its health services. 

Even though the move is still being applied, Kuwait's Health Minister, Sheikh Dr. Basel Al-Sabah, said the increased health fees are now being reassessed "as they were imposed based upon a government proposal not a parliamentary one."