KUWAIT: In a bid to reduce the number of on sick leaves, the health ministry announced its intention to automatically link government hospitals and specialized polyclinics’ data systems with that of the Civil Services Commission (CSC). MoH’s undersecretary, Dr Khaled Al-Sahlawi met with CSC undersecretary, Mohammed Al-Roumi to discuss the process. “New legislation’s are being considered to limit sick leaves”, he said. Ministry of Public Works decided to take action against several contractors for violating the contracts signed with the ministry concerning general conditions and delaying payment of fines. Meanwhile, during a meeting with his undersecretaries, Abdul Aziz Al-Ibrahim, Minister of Public Works and Minister of Electricity and Water, stressed the need to develop and improve performance in various development projects. Al-Ibrahim also said that he ordered all technical sectors to report on their respective agendas, projects and their subsequent followup.

Threats to grill Dr Rola Dashti, Minister of Planning, seem to have snowballed, according to sources, who said that three MPs led by Safa Al-Hashim are set to file a grilling motion against Dashti. MP Osama Al-Tahous said Dr Nayef Al-Hajraf, Minister of Education and Higher Education, has to choose between either cooperating with the parliament or get ready to answer questions. Al- Tahous added that Al-Hajraf had been delaying accreditation of PhD degrees and universities. Al-Tahou also filed an inquiry against Sheikh Salman Al-Sabah, Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs, over the ministry’s strategy and the youth-oriented projects the ministry has begun.

MP Mohammed Al-Howailah, Chairman of the Parliamentary Educational Committee said that the committee was preparing its next meeting agenda and that it would include various educational issues like the need to establish more governmental universities, organizing work in private schools and linking the outcome of the educational process with the job market to create more job opportunities for citizens. He added that Kuwaiti PhD holders must be appointed in Kuwait University and the Public Authority for Applied Education and Training.

He also urged the Ministry of Education to prepare well for the new year. MP Khalil Abdullah Abul, the parliamentary educational committee member called for a meeting to determine the committee’s agenda and priorities and said that setting priorities requires a state vision and a clear road map. “We can’t set priorities without a vision”, he opined, pointing out that MPs had no right to interfere in appointing PhD holders in any educational facilities simply because he was Kuwaiti. “This is unacceptable”, he stressed. He also called for creating more equal job opportunities and urged fellow MPs to stop interfering to appoint less competent people while more qualified ones are without jobs.

He also said that the session called to discuss regional changes which should focus on the possible impacts and the measures to be taken to avoid negative ones. “It should not be held so that some people can start cursing, insulting and shouting. They do this at home if they like”, he underlined. The Joint Group Contracting Co said that building a pipeline to carry treated water from the Ministry of Public Works center in Subbiya to the research center in Kabed would cost KD 1.69 million.

Medical errors MP Adel Al-Kharafi filed an inquiry with the Minister of Electricity and Water, Abdul Aziz Ibrahim about suspending a number of tenders and projects. Al-Kharafi queried about the results of investigating assistant undersecretaries over the past 10 years, the smart meter tender and whether he had the audit bureau’s permission to launch the Jaber Bridge project. The Health Ministry is reconsidering the idea of establishing a special fund to pay compensations for medical errors committed by staff at the Health Ministry facilities. Notably, the fund was suggested earlier and MoH has now revived it to implement it after the Cabinet approves it.

The project aims to make doctors pay monthly subscriptions which would be used to pay compensations ordered by courts in case of medical errors. Ali Al-Jazzaf, Deputy Secretary General of the Justice and Peace Forum, announced that the forum supports the nomination of former Dasma An Benaid Al-Gar Coop chairman to run for the municipal council elections due next month. MP Mansour Al-Thafeiri promised Thekra Al- Rashidi, Minister of Social Affairs and Labor, a hard time for her violations where she appointed her relatives once the next parliamentary term started. “What the minister says about following CSC laws and rule in these appointments is nonsense”, he stressed pointing out that the people she appointed had taken the positions of other more qualified people.

By A Saleh