Friday , October 20 2017

‘DNA tests do not target dual citizens’ – Fraud seen in distribution of ‘retirees’ health cards

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 30: Prior to the launch of the project for distribution of health insurance cards to Kuwaiti retirees, fake processes have already begun for selling health insurance cards known as ‘Afi a’ to non-deserving citizens at a cost of KD 9 per card, reports Al-Anba daily. Some of the retirees consider the project as a step forward for enhancing and developing health services and creating competition among the hospitals and medical centers.

Others say the project is just a way to squander public money, indicating that the normal cost of health insurance is KD 700 but the cost of ‘Afi a’ card is KD 15,000 for men and KD 17,000 for women. According to sources from Ministry of Health and insurance companies, many who get payments from the Public Authority for Social Security has the right to get an ‘Afia’ card.

The project does not include widows, disabled individuals, minors and divorcees who get financial assistance from the authority. They stressed that selling or transferring ‘Afia’ cards is a crime punishable by seven years imprisonment and fines of about KD 5,000, warning against any attempt of impersonation and asking citizens to report any illegal actions in this regard. Spokesperson of Ministry of Health Dr Ahmad Al-Shatti said 9,100 ‘Afia’ cards have been disbursed until Thursday, Sept 29, indicating that 74 distribution centers will continue distributing the insurance cards until Monday, Oct 10. Many of the citizens revealed their resentment concerning this mater, urging for the need to extend this project for including as many citizens as possible, particularly the disabled.

Meanwhile, the DNA testing process proposed by the government will not affect Kuwaitis who hold dual citizenship but those who were fraudulently added to files of some Kuwaitis without their knowledge or by reaching an agreement with falsifiers in exchange of money for the job, reports Al-Shahed daily quoting an informed source. He explained that efforts exerted to detect dual citizenship holders have been futile over the past years due to difference in the data available in the original citizenship with the one in Kuwaiti citizenship.

The differences could be found in the first name, surname or age. The source indicated that the idea of conducting DNA tests came into the picture when some falsifiers were exposed and their citizenships were revoked after which the government realized that there are thousands others who are yet to be caught. He revealed that majority of the affected people holding fake citizenship entered Kuwait after the liberation of Kuwait from Iraqi invasion in 1991, adding that almost 200,000 people will not subject themselves to the DNA test, because it will expose their secret, which will be detected sooner or later when the citizenships from grandparents to grandchildren will be revoked.

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