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KUWAIT CITY, March 2: MP Yusuf Al-Fadalah announced Thursday that he will no longer submit an interpellation request against HH the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah as the latter has accepted the resignation of the Health Ministry undersecretary, asserting he will continue monitoring the corruption issue in the health sector.
Earlier, the lawmaker had threatened to grill the prime minister if the corrupt officials in the ministry are not terminated and if the premier does not respond to his queries. Speaking at a press conference in the Parliament, Al-Fadalah disclosed he got information from the Speaker that the Cabinet has endorsed the resignation of the undersecretary.
He was quick to clarify though that resignation or not is the solution, stressing the need to hold accountable those proven to be involved in corruption and wastage of public funds. He claimed numerous corruption cases against the undersecretary and assistant undersecretary for legal affairs were filed at the Public Prosecution. “We will not allow anyone who embezzled public money to be part of the government,” he asserted. He added the Council of Ministers has instructed the health minister to respond to his questions, indicating he received some answers and he is still waiting for the rest. He pointed out that while the government is calling for austerity measures, it demanded for an additional budget of KD 450 million for overseas treatment thereby increasing this expenditure to KD 615 million. He warned the medical tourism issue and wastage of public money on overseas treatment will not pass unnoticed because it is not right for the government to put pressure on citizens and then waste public money in another field.
Furthermore, MP Jaman Al-Harbash has unveiled his plan, along with a number of his colleagues, to present a request to form a committee to investigate irregularities in overseas treatment, particularly the health offices in Germany, USA, France and Britain. He revealed the committee will also look into the procedures followed in the appointment of the chairpersons of these offices, awarding Afia (Health insurance) contract, nurses contracts, ETINA contract in USA and Adan Hospital, specifically the difference of about KD 20 million in the cost of the project when changing the design from circular to box shape. Al-Harbash then praised the position taken by Health Minister Dr Jamal Al- Harbi who stood against corruption and referred some of those involved in anomalies to the prosecution.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff