Sunday , October 22 2017

Expats suffer as dispute over priorities delays health documents – MoH, Public Services Company at loggerheads

A huge rush of expatriates lined up in the open for completing their health insurance papers at one of the Public Services Companies. Reports say a dispute between the ministry and the company is the cause of delay in processing papers.

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 23: Various centers of the Public Services Company, which is responsible for issuing health insurance for expatriates, have been experiencing congestion lately to the extent that expatriates are forced to line up outside the buildings for a long time starting from the wee hours of every day.

The crisis remains critical as Ministry of Health and the company has been blaming each another. The company claims that the ministry has demanded it to close the office of express transactions for “VIP” companies which have been paying double the fees for health insurance cards in the past 14 years, which is KD 2 instead of KD 1 that is paid in the first-floor offices in Jabriya area.

Assistant Undersecretary for Financial Affairs at Ministry of Health Mohammed Al-Azmi affirmed that the ministry did not order the suspension of any service or closing down of any registration centers that serve expatriates.

In a statement to the daily, Al-Azmi explained that the company should be informed, through a letter signed by the Minister of Health, about the ministry’s unwillingness to renew the contract at least six months before the contract expires.

This is as per the terms and conditions of the contract signed between the ministry and the Public Services Company, so that the company is aware in advance about the non-renewal of the contract. Regarding the center in Jabriya, Al-Azmi said it is within the provision of the contract and must not be closed without the ministry’s knowledge, affirming that the move taken by the ministry is legal and within its rights and authority. He revealed that the relation between the ministry and the company dates back to 14 years or more.

Al-Azmi indicated that the ministry may sign a new contract with the Public Services Company or with another company following the expiry of the current contract until the Government Insurance Company resumes its operations in which the government has a 24 percent equity stake and citizens have 50 percent.

He insisted that the reports released so far in this regard are not logical especially most of the statements issued by a source from the company who did not disclose the identity of the official who is accusing the ministry of hindering the operation of the insurance offices.

By Marwa Al-Bahrawi Al-Seyassah Staff

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