KUWAIT CITY, Jan 28: The Ministry of Health is bound by conditions of a contract it signed with the medical insurance company in charge of issuing medical cards for expatriates until the contract ends on July 27, 2017, reports Al-Rai daily quoting sources. Sources revealed that Health Minister Dr Jamal Al-Harbi has informed the company about the plan not to renew the contract anymore, but the ministry is obligated to continue with the current contract in order to avoid fees that might result in terminating the contract before it expires.
Sources also denied rumors that the ministry has asked its interior counterpart to collect medical insurance fees – KD 50 for one year and KD 100 for two years – once the processing of residency-related transactions is completed. Sources pointed out this step is illegal and it will lead to dire consequences as it violates the stipulations of the existing contract.
On the other hand, member of the parliamentary Health Committee MP Khaled Al-Utaibi condemned the alleged inhumane conditions in the medical insurance centers. He called on the Ministry of Health to re-implement the old system or find a more civilized mechanism.
Meanwhile, Al-Qabas daily quoted an informed source from the Ministry of Interior as saying that the ministry understands the situation while affirming its readiness to find appropriate solutions including the issuance of temporary residency permits to expatriates. He asserted the best way to prevent recurrence of the problem is automatic linkage with the Ministry of Health such that a paper receipt will no longer be required as it will be replaced with the online payment mechanism. He added the implementation of this mechanism requires at least two months.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Kuwait Pharmaceutical Association Dr Hani Zakaria disclosed that 620 public and private pharmacies, including medical warehouses, are in Kuwait. He added 480 of the pharmacies and medical warehouses belong to private sector, and public sector 140, reports Al Jarida daily.
In a statement, Dr Hani said about 255 pharmacists work in private sector while 750 are working in pharmacies affiliated to the Ministry of Health, and with Kuwaitis constituting 35 percent. He noted the number of Kuwaiti pharmacists is below the required percentage. He announced the first awareness conference for fighting violence and drugs slated for Feb 17-20 will ring the alarm on the dangers of drugs to save the youth in Kuwait. He said the conference aims to guide the youth on how to avoid drugs and instill confidence in them to believe in their capabilities toward development; thereby, creating a generation that is innovative and knowing its abilities to take right decisions.