KUWAIT CITY, March 2: The Parliament approved on Wednesday the recommendation to prevent the government from implementing the new regulation on overseas treatment, including the financial allocation for patients and their companions.
The recommendation was then referred to the Health Affairs Committee which will prepare its report within 60 days. The Parliament agreed on inclusion of the following to the committee’s report: suspension of the Health Ministry’s decision on overseas treatment, maintaining the allowances – KD 75 for the patient and KD 50 for the companion, appointment of Kuwaiti employees at the health offices abroad, train these employees on the proper way of dealing with patients, transform Kuwait into a centre for the treatment of cancer and bone fracture, and invite foreign medical experts to Kuwait.
The Parliament also agreed on referring the report of the State Audit Bureau on the alleged violations in the Overseas Treatment Sector to the committee for further study.
Commenting on the issue, State Minister for Cabinet Affairs Sheikh Mohammed Al-Abdullah Al-Sabah pointed out the bylaw on overseas treatment allocation will take effect on April 1, 2016 and the government is keen on implementing it.
Meanwhile, State Minister for National Assembly Affairs and Minister of Public Works Ali Al- Omair affi rmed the government will study the parliamentary recommendations and then decide whether to accept or reject them.
In another development, the Parliament allocated two hours of Wednesday’s session to discuss issues concerning Bedouns. The lawmakers called on the government to fi nd radical solutions to the problems of Bedouns and grant nationality to those who deserve it. They then criticized the Central System for Remedying the Status of Illegal Residents (CSRSIR) for its alleged failure to address the problems of Bedouns.
MP Ahmad Lari stressed the need to benefit from the skills of Bedouns by employing them to replace the expatriates. He said Bedouns should be allowed to resort to the court, adding that some security restrictions imposed on them were for their fathers and grandfathers so the authorities must review such restrictions MP Khalil Al-Saleh asserted that Bedoun issue remains a dark spot on Kuwait’s political and global history while stressing the need to grant citizenship to 32,000 deserving applicants. MP Sultan Al-Gosaim admitted the Bedoun file is a sensitive issue and it has remained so for more than five decades, especially since the previous parliaments failed to solve the problem.
He claimed some members of the previous parliaments were not keen on resolving the Bedoun issue because they use it as a bargaining chip during elections. He called on the government to find radical solutions and to put things in the right perspective in order to end the suffering of Bedouns.
Moreover, Al-Omair affirmed the government listened to the comments of the MPs and the accusations hurled at CSRSIR. He said that on the contrary, the agency deserves commendation for handling such a sensitive issue as it provided Bedouns a better life and it has submitted list of those who deserve citizenship to the Cabinet for thorough review. He pointed out the agency gives enough time to those who don’t deserve nationality to correct their status and it also employs them in government institutions. Acting Parliament Speaker Abdullah Al-Tamimi adjourned the session until March 15, 2016 to present its recommendations on the issue.
By Abubakar A. Ibrahim Arab Times Staff