IT is a shame the proponents of the interpellation request which was filed against the Minister of Health Dr Ali Al-Obaidi could muster only nine signatures in their bid to submit a no-confidence motion against the minister whose mistakes in the ministry have become unaffordable.
It is enough to mention here that the automation contract to link the seven overseas health offices to his ministry will cost the unstable general budget over KD 55 million.
Here I want to shed light on something very simple. I asked one of my friends who works in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the number of our embassy overseas. When he told me Kuwait has 108 embassies and consulates, I asked if these missions are automatically connected with each other. He answered in the affirmative and said this cost the Treasury just KD 2 million.
“I leave this issue into the hands of our conscientious lawmakers who have not supported the grilling request which was filed by MPs Rakan Al-Nisf and Hamdan Al-Azmi. This is because the money embezzled from the public funds in the name of overseas treatment for those who deserve it are few but who do not are many.
My second point is that last year the Minister of Health had increased the budget for overseas treatment to over KD 400 million.
The minister and his active undersecretary must have read the news report which was published by the Al-Qabas newspaper about Joe Biden, the US Vice-President who last summer decided to sell his private house to foot the medical bill of his son, a Public Prosecutor in the State of Delaware because the son who was suffering from brain tumor left for treatment and did not have other source of income except for his salary and this made the father help him financially.
The US President was informed about the issue and accordingly Barack Obama requested him not to sell the family home but promised to help Biden with ‘his’ money.
We highlight this American story for the benefit of our Minister and our courageous lawmakers because the US is the strongest and richest country in the world and yet the US government did not foot the bill to help the ‘second man’ in its democratic system.
We are a country which depends on oil. One barrel of oil was once sold for $120 but this has now changed and our policy has not. To add insult to injury, it is unfortunate that those who really deserve this treatment are few and those who do not many.
I have a suggestion for our Minister of Health, his undersecretary and his director of public relations who is resistant like a sphinx to call Joe Biden, the US Vice-President and offer to treat his son at our expense even inside or outside America hoping this needy person to entreat Allah for your good on Doomsday during which neither money nor children nor lawmakers will be of any help.
Those who do not deserve were treated abroad at the expense of the public and this saved our Minister of Health when he stepped on the grilling podium.
By Ali Al-Baghli
Former Minister of Oil