New health fees won’t solve demographic imbalance: MPs

KUWAIT: A number of lawmakers plan to meet in the coming few days in Jahra to discuss a series of issues that will be included in the National Assembly’s agenda for discussion once it reconvenes in October 24, 2017, sources said. At least 15 MPs are likely to attend the meeting in order to discuss topics including a proposal to reduce fees on health services presented to expatriates which the Ministry of Health (MOH) plans to implement by October 1st. “Some MPs believe that the new fees are too high and would not help solve the state’s demographic imbalance,” said the sources, adding that the best alternative would be speeding up the construction of health insurance hospitals which would be dedicated to providing health services to expats.

The MPs also plan to discuss a proposal to reduce fuel prices, arguing that the increases imposed last year have fallen short of achieving their announced goals, such as reducing traffic. In addition, the sources said that the meeting would discuss a proposal to force the government to conduct a cabinet reshuffle that sees the ouster of the current ministers of oil, social affairs, finance and education; who are all subject to parliamentary inquiries once the parliament convenes.

Kuwaiti teachers
Minister of Education and Higher Education Dr Mohammad Al-Fares said that Kuwaiti teachers have outnumbered non-Kuwaitis by almost two thirds, explaining that the total number of teachers this year reached 66,156, of which 63.6 percent are Kuwaitis, while non-Kuwaitis comprised only 36.4 percent.

Responding to an inquiry filed by MP Ahmad Al-Fadhl in this regard, Fares indicated that 97.2 percent of the total number of kindergarten teachers are Kuwaitis, 52.1 percent of primary school male teachers and 71.1 percent of female teachers are Kuwaitis, 42.6 percent of male teachers in intermediate schools are Kuwaitis, 67.4 percent of female teachers in those schools are Kuwaitis, 32.8 percent of male teachers in secondary schools are Kuwaitis and that 55.6 percent of female teachers in those schools are Kuwaitis.

Further, Fares explained that the total number of male teacher in all stages reaches 16,421 including 6,551 Kuwaitis, adding that the total number of female teachers reached 49,735 including 35,527 Kuwaitis. Finally, Fares said that 459 bedoon (stateless) teachers are registered in the current school year, including 59 male and 400 female teachers in various stages.

By A Saleh

This article was published on 19/09/2017