MoH urged to solve problem of citizens covered by Afia system
KUWAIT CITY, July 6: National Assembly Speaker Marzouq Al- Ghanim announced that he and a number of MPs will soon submit a bill on remedying the demographic imbalance. Al-Ghanim said it is rare that the expatriates constitute 70 percent of the population of any country; hence, the need to address the issue now.
He cited statistics from the Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI), stating there are about 1.3 million illiterate people in Kuwait. He pointed out this implies that addressing the demographic imbalance issue should not be limited to reducing the number of expatriates, as their fields of specialization and academic qualifications should be considered as well.
He argued it is inappropriate to specify a quota for every nationality, disclosing that Article Four of the bill mandates the Council of Ministers to take decisions starting from six months after the enforcement of the bill to specify the required number of expatriates. He explained these decisions are aimed at reducing the number of expatriate gradually.
He said the unnecessary expatriates should leave the country and they should not be treated unjustly. He added these expatriates must receive all their rights and compensation for the damages they suffer will be paid through the expatriates’ fund. He suggested this fund will be financed through different resources, including the participation of public institutions by using the fines and fees collected from expatriates.
He clarified that although the incumbent senior officials in the country did not cause the demographic imbalance, they must be responsible enough to solve the problem.
He pointed out that visa trading is the main reason behind the demographic imbalance, so the best solution is to put an end to visa trading. He affirmed the bill stipulates protecting the rights of expatriates through an insurance system, indicating the country needs the services of expatriates with certain specializations. He added the visa traders do not bring doctors, engineers or scientists to Kuwait.
Meanwhile, MP Muhammad Al-Huwailah called on Minister of Health Sheikh Dr Bassel Al- Sabah to solve the problem of citizens covered by the health insurance system (Afia). He received complaints from these citizens who informed him that the company refused to pay for their medicines as the contract it signed with the ministry will expire soon. He urged the minister to stop the manipulative acts of the concerned company.
In another development, MP Osama Al-Shaheen forwarded queries to Minister of Social Affairs and State Minister for Economic Affairs Mariam Al-Aqeel about the delayed disbursement of the additional subsidy for Kuwaiti employees under the third and fifth items – those working in the private sector and the owners of businesses in this sector.
He and some of his colleagues submitted proposals regarding the additional subsidy in April and the Council of Ministers finalized its decision in May, but the Ministry of Social Affairs has not paid the additional subsidy until now. He unveiled his plan to use other parliamentary tools, if Al-Aqeel does not respond to his queries.
By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff