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MoH violations final report completed – Company sending patients to US receives commission

KUWAIT CITY, Jan 15: The fact finding committee formed by the former minister of health Dr Jamal Al- Harbi to respond to the report issued by the State Audit Bureau and the parliamentary questions concerning the contract signed by the ministry and the ATENA Company has completed its final report, reports Al-Qabas daily.

This report has been issued two and half years after the contract was signed between the ministry and ATENA Company. The contract authorized the company to send Kuwaiti patients to the USA to receive medical treatment, and the company receives a commission of 27.5 percent from the hospitals. This money goes to the company and not the Kuwait Health Office in the USA.

The committee affirmed the need for signing a contract with an international auditing firm for auditing the receipts of the transactions between the company and the hospitals of the United States of America. It revealed that the contract violates article No. 5 of the Amiri decree No. 12/1960, as per which contracts must be reviewed by the Fatwa and Legislation Department before they are signed.

The committee explained that the contract does not meet the conditions that preserve the rights of the ministry, as followed for administrative contracts. The contract includes a clause which obligates the ministry to pay interest of nine percent in case it delays in making the payments. The contract does not include any penalties against the company in case it does not carry out its tasks properly. Also, the company is authorized to end the contact whenever it likes.

The contract was the main topic in the grilling request submitted by MPs Rakan Al-Nesf and Hamdan Al-Azmi in January 2016. The committee stressed the importance of not signing any contracts in the future without ensuring the financial conditions and obtaining the approvals of relevant departments in the ministry such as the Finance Department and the Purchase Department.

It also stressed the need to seek approval of relevant monitoring bodies before signing any contract such as the Central Agency for Public Tenders, State Audit Bureau and Fatwa and Legislation Department. The committee recommended against signing multiple contracts with a single entity in order to preserve the principles of equality and competition among different companies which will help in choosing the best offers and best prices. The committee affirmed that it is not authorized to take any decisions, adding that the matter is in the hands of the court (ministers’ trial committee) which will issue the final decision

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