Kuwait News



Minister refutes rumor on resignation

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 3: Health Minister Dr Jamal Al-Harbi has denied rumors spread on various media platforms that he intends to resign. Speaking on the sidelines of his meeting with assistant undersecretaries and directors of health districts Monday, Al-Harbi disclosed that exemptions from the new medical fees for expatriates will be expanded to include patients in critical condition who need to be confined in the intensive care units for surgery, internal medicine, heart diseases and children. He affirmed the heads of concerned departments and directors of hospitals have been instructed to take decisions in this regard.

He said the Bedouns holding expired security cards are exempted from the new medical fees within one month after the expiration of their security cards. He clarified that after one month, these Bedouns must present the renewed security cards when availing medical services.

He also unveiled a plan to study the recommendation to exempt patients, who need to stay in the hospital for a long period, from the new fee — KD 10 per day. He enumerated other exemptions such as the expatriates’ children who are below 12 years old and suffering from cancer and deformations, husbands of Kuwaiti women, wives of Kuwaiti men and the children of these couples.

He added the new medical fees for expatriates are not applicable to domestic workers. He revealed the number of patients in emergency rooms decreased by 30 percent while those undergoing tests in laboratories decreased by more than 30 percent since the implementation of the new medical fees for expatriates. He asked the directors of health districts to submit weekly statistics on expatriate patients who visit public hospitals and medical centers to be discussed along with comments on the new fees. He also instructed the assistant undersecretaries and directors of health districts to submit their five-year plans including future medical projects and to follow up ongoing projects. He added he will meet undersecretaries and directors of central directorates from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon every Monday to discuss the problems they are facing.

By Marwa Al-Bahrawi Al-Seyassah / Arab Times Staff

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 1: It is surprising that after the case of 25 citizens was looked into by the three courts — the Court of First Instance, the Court of Appeals and the Court of Cassation, which convicted the men of communicating with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the Lebanese Hezbollah, the defendants in the so-called ‘Abdali Cell’, have filed a petition with the Court of Cassation to change the verdict and declare them innocent, reports Al-Qabas daily.

A knowledgeable source said the courts issued the final verdict and the case is over because the verdict of the Court of Cassation cannot be appealed or contested but the court is however obliged to see the reasons for the petition and reply, although this request is a precedent in the cases of State Security. The sources pointed out the Court of Cassation presided by Counselor Ahmed Al-Ajeel set the hearing for next Monday in the consulting room to respond to the petition.

“There is no fourth degree of litigation in the judiciary and filing a petition is permissible in civil cases. However the case in question is in the hands of the Court of Cassation and the latter is obliged to respond to the petition, a top level judiciary source said. Meanwhile, the government will write again to the Lebanese government to know the delay in responding to its earlier letter in which the government had accused Hezbollah of involvement in the Abdali Cell case. The government of Kuwait wanted to know if any action had been taken against Hezbollah by the Lebanese government

By Mishal Al-Sanousi Al-Seyassah Staff and Agencies

Source: Arab Times Kuwait http://www.arabtimesonline.com/news/abdali-cell-defendants-file-new-petition-innocent/

Expats laments hike in medical service charges

KUWAIT CITY, Oct 1: Economic experts are expecting the state revenues to double after the new charges for medical services offered to expatriates are applied, reports Al-Anba daily.

They said the revenues, due to the increased charges of medical services, are expected to increase from KD 130 million to KD 300 million, which is 130 percent higher than the revenues of last year.

The experts affirmed that the fruits of the hike in medical charges will be evident in the budget of 2018/2019. They expected the revenues from some medical services such as dialysis, Xray, medical tests, and artificial limbs to rise from KD 9.5 million this year to KD 16 million in the coming year.

Ministry of Finance had previously approved to set the budget of Ministry of Health for the fiscal year of 2017/2018 at KD 2 billion and 800 million, which includes KD 9 million to be offered as bonus for excellent performance.

Meanwhile, economic expert Yahya Kamshad stressed the new medical charges must be enforced without any exception in order to allow the decision to produce the required result which is to solve the budget deficit.

Another economic expert Bader Al-Otaibi said the decision will help in increasing the non-oil revenues, which will in turn positively affect the public budget. According to sources from Ministry of Finance, the estimated budget of Ministry of Health for the fiscal year of 2017/2018 is about KD 2.1 billion with 11 percent increase compared to the previous year.

Meanwhile, a number of expatriates lamented about the increase in the charges of medical services, stressing that the process began with the increase in fuel prices, followed by increase in electricity and water tariffs and now the medical services, reports Al-Anba daily.

The average salary of expatriates is about KD 400 per month, half of which goes for paying rent while the other half is never enough to cover the remaining expenses such as for education, transportation and food. Therefore, if any of the family members require medical service, they do not have the money to cover that expense. Umm Asma is an expatriate patient who often visits the clinic of respiratory diseases at one of the state hospitals. She wondered how she can spend KD 10 per month instead of the current KD 2 that she spends at the clinic.

According to her, there is no longer any difference between the public and private hospitals. She said families with low income usually prioritize food and shelter.

Therefore, if they cannot afford paying the medical bills, they will be forced to neglect taking care of their health.

Sayed Mohammad, another expatriate, corroborated to what Umm Asma said. He indicated that the move to increase in the charges of medical services for expatriates is not in line with the humanitarian attitude adopted by Kuwait towards the poor countries around the world. Another expatriate Umm Ayah stressed that the new charges for medical services will force expatriates to give up their right to receiving medical services at public hospitals and will instead opt for private ones, as the costs are similar, there will be lesser crowd and there will not be any need to make appointments.

Mustafa Mohammad, an expatriate who has been working in Kuwait for years, said he has good health and did not come to Kuwait as a patient, adding, “If I was suffering from any disease, the authorities would have prevented me from coming to Kuwait”. He urged the concerned authorities to show mercy when it comes to offering medical treatment for expatriates, as they are suffering from high expenses of rents, education, clothes and food.

Source: Arab Times Kuwait http://www.arabtimesonline.com/news/new-medical-fees-expected-double-state-revenues-experts/

‘CSC granted two hours off from work to female employees who gave birth’

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 24: Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Muhammad Al-Fares has affirmed that he is keen on supporting teachers and administrative staff at the ministry, reports Al-Seyassah. The minister made the statement when he met Head of Education Ministry Employees Association Saleh Al-Azmi recently.

Undersecretary Dr Haitham Al-Athary also attended the meeting, during which he denounced the action of some school managers as they threatened female teachers and administrative employees who gave birth recently that they will be deprived of the two hours off from work given to them to take care of their babies. He stressed the Civil Service Commission (CSC) granted this privilege to female teachers and administrative employees.

According to Al-Azmi, the minister has confirmed that the necessary legal action will be taken against any school manager who violates the law and CSC regulations. He added the minister also approved the proposal to allow secondment and transfer of some administrative employees to and from schools and educational districts in accordance with the work requirements.

He went on to disclose that the minister announced the implementation of a new electronic system which aims to protect the right of teachers to be promoted as department head, away from favoritism and ‘wasta’ (influence). He said he discussed with the minister the suggestion to put investigation departments in educational districts under the supervision of the assistant undersecretary for legal affairs.

Source: Arab Times

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 16: Any society witnessing crisis usually looks for a scapegoat; while the public often expresses sentiments over the practice of holding expatriates accountable for problems and this feeling proves the inability of societies to address their problems quoting Constitutional expert Dr Mohamed Al-Feeli.

Al-Feeli agrees with the chairman of Kuwait Society for Human Rights on suspicion of violating international laws in some lawsuits such as the demand to impose tax on the remittances of expatriates and depriving them of the right to resort to the court in order to appeal against administrative deportation decisions.

He explained that preventing expatriates to appeal before the court regarding administrative deportation puts the nation in a situation of depriving foreigners of the right to litigation. He asserted Kuwait is bound by the International Convention on the right of litigation before the competent authorities.

He went to say that regarding the issue of deportation as part of the authority of the administrative body, instead of the courts, could be a violation of international laws. He added the international agreements oblige the country to provide primary health care to expatriates as this is part of their right to life, and this care can be in the form of money paid through health insurance associated with the residency of foreigners.

Meanwhile, Secretary General of the Municipal Council Yousif Al-Saqaabi has announced postponement of committees’ and main meetings, as well as suspension of agendas, until matters are settled in the council.

Speaking to the daily, Al-Saqaabi revealed that the transactions and proposals of committees have been suspended and transferred to the temporary committee. He affirmed the resignation of six council members will be approved on Oct 13 and a letter in this regard will be forwarded to the state minister for municipality affairs for appropriate action.

He added these members have returned the cars issued to them one year ago to obtain cash allowance as per the endorsement of the Finance Ministry. With regard to the offices and secretarial teams of the resigned council members, Al-Saqaabi disclosed they will be handed over once the resignation takes effect.

In the meantime, Chairman and members of the Board of Directors of Shamiya and Shuwaikh Cooperative Society inaugurated Ghernata Pharmacy following the completion of its renovation. Board Chairman Talal Al-Lahdan said the renovation process took about two months, affirming that the pharmacy is an important addition to the achievements of the cooperative society.

Treasurer of Shamiya and Shuwaikh Cooperative Society Abdullah Al-Othman Al-Rashed said the pharmacy has limited its profits to only ten percent for products that are not controlled by the prices allotted by Ministry of Health.

He revealed that the profits obtained from the last season were KD 250,000, indicating that this amount was bigger than expected because it came at a time when Ghernata Pharmacy was not operating.


KUWAIT CITY, Aug 3, (KUNA): Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Sheikh Mohammad Al-Khalid Al-Sabah Wednesday August 2, expressed his pride and delight over the honorable mission carried out by the Kuwaiti Land Forces.

He revealed this during his visit to the different departments of the Kuwaiti Land Forces including Arifjan Camp belonging to the American Army located in South Kuwait, the land forces stationed at the borders of North Kuwait, and the Sabah Duty (Wajeb Sabah) Command Center.

The visit was in line with the 28th anniversary of the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. The minister was accompanied by the Chief of General Staff of Kuwait Armed Forces Lieutenant General Khalid Al-Sabah and a number of army leaders.

In a press release, the minister stressed the keenness of the military leadership to develop the abilities of the Kuwaiti Army so that it is more capable of providing necessary protection to the entire country.

He expressed gratitude to the Supreme Leader of Kuwait Armed Forces His Highness the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah for his continuous support to the army and for enhancing its military abilities.

Minister Al-Khalid highlighted the important role played by the media in encouraging citizens to register for mandatory conscription and providing information about the relevant law.

Regarding hiring the sons of prisoners of war and martyrs in the Kuwaiti Armed forces, the minister affirmed that they can register for joining the army, indicating that the number of applicants is satisfactory.

He indicated that the ministry is waiting for the legislative authority to amend some laws for including this category in the sector.

Minister Al-Khalid insisted that all Kuwaiti citizens are welcome to join any of the courses in this sector, including sergeant courses, officers’ courses and aviation courses

KUWAIT CITY, June 1: The Criminal Evidences Department has a significant database of about eight million criminals, citizens and residents.

The sources stressed the department plays a vital role in protecting the country’s security from suspicious elements including those who had been earlier deported from the country to prevent them from entering on new passports and under fake names.

The source said the Department has one of the most modern equipment in the world in fingerprint retrieval system. The daily added, the department has fingerprinted 11,000 suspects in the first five months of 2017 to look for suspects against whom cases have been filed.

By Meshal Al-Sanousi
Al-Seyassah Staff and Agencies (Arab Times)

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