Kuwait Ministry of Finance denies plans to cut wages – MoH launches retirees’ health insurance

Minister of Health Dr Ali Al-Obaidi addresses the audience as he launches the retirees’ health insurance. — KUNA photos

Minister of Health Dr Ali Al-Obaidi addresses the audience as he launches the retirees’ health insurance. — KUNA photos

KUWAIT: The Ministry of Finance yesterday categorically denied reports on social media about purported government’s intention to slash payments. The official spokesman of the Finance Minister, Khaled Al-Rubaiaan, said there is no government’s intention to review or cut payments or allotments for the civil servants, at present. He indicated that revising the payments “will be applicable to citizens to employed after endorsement of the strategic alternative (scheme).” Al-Rubaiaan added that the re-examination of the payments’ scale would be aimed at hiking salaries of those who are underpaid as compared to others who perform the same job and get higher salaries. The State reforms’ scheme does not include a program to trim the salaries and is actually aimed at ensuring welfare for the citizens by tackling “sources of excessive spending.”

Retirees’ health insurance
In another development, the Minister of Health Dr Ali Al-Obaidi yesterday launched a health insurance for retirees declaring start of distributing cards for 117,000 eligible citizens, at a total cost of KD 82 million. Minister Dr Al-Obaidi, speaking during the inauguration ceremony, said retirees eligible to benefit from the service can received their cards at 45 offices in all of the country’s governorates. The centers include three hospitals and medical centers, 39 dentistry clinics, 41 laboratories, 41 x-ray centers, 42 private clinics and 43 pharmacies.

Speaking on the ceremony, Al-Obaidi said that the Ministry of Health has stayed true to its word by implementing the health insurance plan for retirees, an endeavor he described as an accomplishment that underscores cooperation between the government and the National Assembly. Moreover, he noted that more than 117,000 retirees are the beneficiaries of the health insurance plan, which provides a slew of health services at a cost of KD 17,000 per person.

Al-Obaidi said that retirees are free to choose from a list of health care providers at their disposal, adding that the plan is meticulous and complies with international health standards. Al-Obaidi said that the health insurance plan for retirees is the latest in a series of projects designed to prop up the health sector in the country. He also added that a number of hospitals and medical facilities are undergoing renovations to ensure top notch healthcare services. – Agencies

This article was published on 28/09/2016