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MPs WARN AGAINST CANCELLATION OF HEALTH CHARGES
KUWAIT CITY, Dec 17: The extra health fees on expatriates will remain intact; however, the process will be re-evaluated to avoid any negative outcomes, said Minister of Health Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah Sunday. Speaking to the press at the ministry, Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah said that the ministry will look into all possible ventures that will contribute positively to the development of healthcare in Kuwait.
All previous ministerial decrees will be revised and re-evaluated in coordination with senior officials at the ministry, said Sheikh Dr Basel Al-Sabah.
The top priority is to improve health services at the ministry, affirmed the minister who hoped that he would be able to accomplish this goal during his tenure. Meanwhile, several lawmakers have warned Dr Basel Al-Sabah about any intention to cancel the decision issued by his predecessor to increase the health fees for expatriates.
They said any cancellation of the decision will give rise to tensions between the legislative and the executive authorities. This came when earlier on Sunday Basel Al- Sabah announced the ministry is considering canceling or moving ahead with the decision to increase the health fees for expatriates.
He also pointed out the vacant positions will soon be occupied, especially that of the undersecretary and welcomed any advice or criticism to develop the work of the Health Ministry.
MP Saleh Ashour has warned the minister who intends to study the cancellation of the decision to increase health fees for expatriates, saying, “If this is the beginning, I expect the government not to continue.” He made it clear the Health Minister will be questioned if he cancels the decision to increase the fees for expatriates. He added, the decision will be subject to study and evaluation.
MP Faisal Al-Kandari also warned the Minister of Health against cancelling the decision to increase the health fees for expatriates, saying the minister is not supposed to think at all about this issue. In a press statement, Al-Kandari said any government retreat in this regard and the minister will face the wrath of the MPs.
He stressed the decision to increase medical fees has succeeded in reducing congestion at hospitals and dispensaries and accused the foreigners of feigning illness as a result of which medicines are drained for their own benefit.
MP Majed Al-Mutairi said the cancellation of the previous health minister’s decision to increase health fees for expatriates is unacceptable. He explained the current Minister of Health must complete the course of his predecessor in the path of reform and not cancel the decisions.
MP Abdul-Kareem Al-Kandari also warned Minister of Health against cancellation of the decision to increase health fees for expatriates. He pointed out the decision contributed to reducing pressure on the health facilities. He added the abolition of the decision to increase the health fees on expatriates is unacceptable. He added, “Don’t begin with your term with the cancellation of the decisions of the former minister, which has contributed to reducing the pressure on health facilities.”
For her part, MP Safa’a Al-Hashem in a letter to the Minister of Health Basel Al-Sabah on her Twitter account said, “Honorable new Minister of Health, your concerns should be the health of Kuwaiti citizens and your people and our concern is their interest and the decision to cancel the health fees to expatriates is rejected, rejected and rejected and I am going to stand up to you with extreme political violence on the podium.”
MP Khalil Al-Saleh stressed on the need to impose health insurance on the expatriates before his or her visit to Kuwait.
On another issue, MP Khalil Al-Saleh announced the formation of a temporary parliamentary committee to study the issue of unemployment in the country and provide job opportunities for Kuwaitis. He warned of the high rate of unemployment among citizens if measures are not taken to address this phenomenon.
Meanwhile, MP Ali Al-Deqbasi, said he will not boycott the session next Tuesday as members of the Cabinet will be sworn in. He called for the need to adhere to the agenda of the session and approve the law of early retirement. He noted, he will accelerate the consideration of the law to reduce the retirement age. He reiterated the need to approve the amnesty law for MPs whose papers are free from criminal offenses.
In another development, MP Adel Al-Damkhi disclosed a meeting will be held Monday at the office of MP Dr Jama’an Al-Harbash in solidarity with their colleagues and youth imprisoned on the issue of storming the Parliament to discuss the mechanism of taking stances ahead of Tuesday’s session. Al-Damkhi also referred to the amnesty law and the need for it considering the unsatisfactory conditions prevailing in the country and the surrounding areas.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff and Agencies