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KUWAIT CITY, Aug 29: MP Hamdan Al-Azmi said Health Minister Dr Ahmad Al-Awadhi has been given a chance to address the shortage of medicines for cancer and nervous diseases, warning that he will take a decisive and firm step at the beginning of the upcoming parliamentary year if the problem remains unsolved. He wondered why the issue has yet to be addressed although KD3 billion of the KD26 billion State budget is allocated for the ministry
Meanwhile, MP Mehalhal Al-Mudhaf criticized the recent decision of the Council of Ministers to renew the term of Chairman of Government Performance Follow-Up Agency Sheikh Ahmad Meshal Al-Ahmad with the rank of minister. He said this happened even if the council had earlier suspended the appointment of senior officials with the rank of minister. He also commented on the council’s statement, lauding the supposed efforts of the agency to develop local enterprises and follow up the completion of such projects.
He pointed out everyone is aware that the projects have been delayed for several years, in addition to the violations committed by some ministries that refrained from imposing penalties on contractors who caused the delay. He inquired about the benefits provided by the agency based on the performance of the current and previous governments and the decline of Kuwait’s ranking in the corruption perception indexes. He claimed the agency is nothing but an institution full of senior officials who do not add value to the nation, considering the existence of active monitoring institutions like the State Audit Bureau (SAB). He said many senior officials are nominated or appointed in public institutions, but they do not serve the public. He asserted this practice conveys a negative and depressing message to the hard working officials once they find out that their superiors are unqualified. He urged His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Ahmad Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah to be responsible for such decisions whether or not he is aware of them. He then unveiled his plan to take parliamentary action in the next legislative session if these decisions are not rectified.
Furthermore, MP Marzouq Al-Ghanim asked Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Oil, State Minister for Economic and Investment Affairs and acting Minister of Finance Saad Al-Barrak to provide him with a copy of the approval of the Board of Directors of Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) for the authority to acquire 50 percent of the shares of Dhaman Hospitals Company on behalf of the citizens. He wants to know the legal basis for taking this step.
He also requested for a copy of the request of KIA to dismiss the strategic partner from the General Assembly held on Feb 17, 2022; reasons behind the dismissal of the representative of the strategic partner from the board of Dhaman Hospitals Company; copy of the decision of KIA to form a fact-finding committee to investigate issues concerning the company; list of committee members; minutes of the committee’s meetings and its final report. He inquired if the person responsible for the dismissal of the representative of the strategic partner is still a member of the board of the company, if he still represents KIA in communication companies after submitting his resignation from the authority, if the representatives of KIA in Dhaman Hospitals Company were questioned about the latter’s losses from 2020 to 2022 – estimated at KD 27 million, if the representative of the Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS) was dismissed from the committee formed by the Board of Directors of Dhaman Hospitals Company, and reasons for dismissal if the response is in the affirmative.
He demanded for a copy of the advertisement for the recruitment of the chief executive officer (CEO) of the company. He asked if the appointed CEO met the requirements and reasons for appointing him in case he did not meet the requirements. He asked about the total employment package (salary and allowances) granted to the CEO, if it is true that he was a senior official in a company which declared bankruptcy, if he worked in a company that submitted a bid to buy some shares of the company, if the company hired 37 doctors working at the Ministry of Health as parttimers without obtaining permission from the ministry, if KIA approved writing off the KD16 million fine imposed on a contractor for delaying the project, if the delay is due to technical errors found in the buildings, if the CEO of the company applied for a license to establish a hospital in South Sabahiya even if the area has no drainage system, if the CEO changed several members of the Purchase Committee without a valid reason, if the administration of the company issued ‘To Whom It May Concern’ certificates to the board members despite the issuance of a final court decision on Dec 15, 2022 to nullify the board, if the board chairman signed a contract with a Spanish company (Ribera Salud Group) to manage healthcare services for 15 months — from September 2022 to February 2024, measures taken considering the violation led to losses estimated at millions of Kuwaiti dinars since the contract started before the issuance of a license to the company, if Ribera Salud Group was fined $300,000 as per a court decision in America for violating the Equal Opportunities Act, and if the company paid the contract value of seven million Euros for six employees at Ribera Salud Group. MP Fayez Al-Jomhour asked Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of State for National Assembly and Cabinet Affairs Essa Al-Kandari if any of the senior officials appointed since Jan 1, 2023 till date have been exempted from the criteria for occupying such positions; total number of vacancies in ministries and other public institutions; reasons for not filling up these vacancies; procedures for the appointment of senior officials; if these officials need to complete certain training courses prior to their appointment, and if any of the senior officials are still in office even if their term has ended. By Saeed Mahmoud Saleh Arab Times Staff
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