KUWAIT: The National Assembly is expected to debate tomorrow a draft law calling to impose obligatory health insurance on foreigners who visit the country, MP Khalil Al-Saleh said yesterday. Saleh said he has submitted a motion calling to give priority to debating and approving the draft law in order to reduce the number of patients at public hospitals and stop squandering drugs. The bill stipulates that before issuing a visit visa to a foreigner, the sponsor must attach a health insurance policy to the application, adding that this system is applied in several countries.
Saleh said that he had submitted the draft law in the previous term and it was approved by the health committee, which has already submitted its report on the issue to the Assembly. He said that there is a consensus among the government and lawmakers on the importance of the draft law, and it is expected to be passed during tomorrow’s session. The lawmaker said preparing the draft law took a long time and it was reviewed by experts, adding that the economic situation requires approving the legislation.
Meanwhile, MP Majed Al-Mutairi asked the health minister about the awarding process of the contract for the registration of resident expatriates for the health insurance scheme, which was recently disrupted. Mutairi asked the minister to provide him with the date of announcing the tender, the closing date and the awarding date. He also demanded the names of bidding companies and the names of their owners. He also asked if the ministry has awarded the contract to the highest bidder and if the Audit Bureau has been informed of the procedures.

MP Rakan Al-Nasef also asked the health minister if the ministry has signed contracts with foreign companies through Kuwait’s health offices in Britain, France, Germany, Egypt and Jordan to provide services to Kuwaiti patients in those countries against a commission. He asked the minister to supply those contracts, if available, signed this year and also in the previous three years, and demanded the pre-approval of the Audit Bureau, the government’s legal department and the Central Tenders Committee of such contracts. He also demanded a list of the amounts paid to those companies.
Head of the Assembly’s human rights panel MP Adel Al-Damkhi yesterday called on the interior minister to investigate the case of stateless man Mohammad Al-Enezi who was illegally detained for 25 days for allegedly attempting to assassinate the head of the stateless agency Saleh Al-Fadhalah. Enezi was later released without bail after the prosecution found the accusation was false.

By B Izzak