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Ministry suspends medical dealings with some foreign centers in Egypt and India

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MP queries pre-employment medical test offices

KUWAIT CITY, April 26: MP Mohammed Al- Dalal in a parliamentary query has asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs Sheikh Sabah Al- Khalid details about pre-employment medical test offices operating overseas.

Al-Dalal said he based his inquiry on a report that has been published by the Al-Rai newspaper (April 26, 2018) that Kuwait’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has suspended dealing with such medical centers in a number of countries including Egypt and India although these offices were, over the years, accredited by Kuwait’s Ministry of Health.

He added, in view of the importance of the issue, its impact on domestic workers and the health of citizens, residents and expatriate workers in Kuwait, he wants answers for the following queries.

On what legal basis has the Foreign Ministry taken the decision in this regard and if the decision is linked to practical investigation or reports received from embassies or complaints submitted in this regard which have been investigated and discrepancies found.

If so, the MP has asked for a copy of such reports and a copy of the decision to stop dealing with these centers.

As is apparent, the MP said, from the nature of the work of these medical centers, they operate on contractual basis signed with the Ministry of Health and therefore the authority responsible for contracting and the commitment of those offices to the terms of the contract is the Kuwaiti Ministry of Health.

He therefore wants to know if there was any type of coordination between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Health for the former taking such a decision. If, so “provide me with copies of correspondence in this regard.”

He also wants to know, what procedures the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has adopted after taking the decision to stop dealing with these medical centers and if other centers in their place have been authorized to test foreign workers including domestic workers and what role the Ministry of Health has in this.

In view of the fact that there is a contractual relationship between the medical centers abroad and the Ministry of Health it means in case of suspension the State of Kuwait and the Ministry of Health is in breach of the contract between the two parties, which may lead to the Ministry of Health paying compensation for these centers for abruptly terminating the contract.

In view of this, was the decision by the Foreign Ministry to do away with these medical centers studied and was the Ministry of Health informed about the decision to suspend working with these centers? In other news, MP Omar Al-Tabtabaei has stressed that the Kuwait Oil Company is misleading the political leadership and the citizens by claiming it is able to contain the recent oil spill. He noted, what is happening in the oil sector is that “a cat is afraid of the mouse”. He said the people and the MPs will know the meaning of this phrase during the grilling of the minister.

Al-Tabtabaei said during a press conference which was held at the National Assembly Thursday that the disasters in the oil sector continue, causing the waste of hundreds of billions of dinars, and called those who run this sector ‘children’. Al-Tabtabaei warned of an oil disaster that could spill over to the Kuwait airport. He stressed that the recent oil spill would have necessitated the resignation of the entire government. He also called on the Minister of Oil and Electricity and Water Minister Bakheet Rashidi to resign without delay.

Al-Tabtabaei asked, “Why does the official spokesman of the company not explain to the people the truth behind the recent oil spill.” On the other hand, the Kuwait Oil Company (KOC) announced Thursday the initial control of the well after the oil spill that occurred at dawn last Monday in Al-Maqwa led to a fire 750 meters away from the site of the leak.

The company in a statement told Kuwait News Agency (KUNA) that the internal lining of the well was fully extracted while the well was under maintenance and that the situation was brought under control in record time. The company confirmed that the isolation of this well is underway in stages until completion of the insulation of all layers. The company indicated it is keen and committed to the rules health and safety rules at the site and surrounding areas.


By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff

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