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KUWAIT CITY, Nov 1: As the concerned authorities ride the roller coaster to put at rest the issue of those non-graduate expatriate employees who are sixty years and above, the concerned officials are expected to put in place a new format, reports Al- Rai daily. According to the new format the fees for renewal will remain the same but this category of people will have to get private health insurance. Sources told the daily there is an official trend to generalize health insurance. It is mandatory for all expatriates over 60 years of age, regardless of their qualifications or graduation certificates, so as not to burden the government health sector with as a result of which services provided to the citizens are affected.
The sources said Minister of Commerce and Industry, Dr. Abdullah Al-Salman, has asked the head of Fatwa and Legislation Department of the Council of Ministers, Counselor Salah Al-Masad to send one of the legal advisors from the ‘Fatwa and Legislation’ to attend the upcoming meeting of the Board of Directors of the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM). The sources indicated the request of Al-Salman comes by virtue of including the topic of the ‘Fatwa’ opinion contained in its Resolution No. (520) of 2020 regarding work permits to non-graduate residents over 60 years old.
The sources expect this issue to be resolved soon with the approval of the Board of Directors to cancel the ‘sixty decision’ previously issued by Director- General Ahmed Al-Mousa, and that the Board of Directors will issue a new decision, most likely to renew the work permit for this segment provided they have health insurance from any local insurance company — favored by Minister Al-Salman to avoid the financial and logistical pressures on the government health system.
Meanwhile, the Al-Seyassah daily quoting sources said it is surprising that the PAM Board of Directors failed to meet Sunday under the Chairmanship of Minister of Commerce and Industry Abdullah Al-Salman. The sources said the meeting has been postponed indefinitely. The sources pointed out that the Fatwa and Legislation ‘ruling’ is crystal clear and should have been implemented on those lines. The sources pointed out people are affected by the decision and if it is illegal, why has it been applied and who will bear the damage done to the workers.
Moreover, according to Al-Rai daily, the Kuwaiti labor market lost 253,233 migrant workers between June 2020 and June 2021, a majority of them from the private sector (205,050 workers), followed by the domestic sector 41,202, while the government sector lost 6,981 workers. A report issued by the Kuwait Society for Human Rights stated that during five months, March to August 2021, “government institutions terminated the services of 2,089 migrant workers, while 10,780 Kuwaiti employees were appointed during the same period.”