Awqaf ministry officials suspended pending investigation in corruption charges

KUWAIT: Kuwait will witness a shift in the quality of health services once the responsibility of expats’ mandatory health insurance is transferred from the Ministry of Health (MoH) to the Health Assurance Hospitals Company (Dhaman) as planned in the state’s development plan, the company’s CEO and board member Ahmad Al-Saleh said yesterday.
Saleh added that the current health insurance system needs improvement to match international development. “The Dhaman project reflects this vision,” he underlined, explaining that it will help reduce pressure on MoH facilities and government spending on health services.

Saleh explained that Dhaman’s health strategy involves building three hospitals and a series of basic healthcare clinics according to expats’ demographic distribution throughout Kuwait. “Insured expats will get a unified policy providing healthcare through a specified list of medications and radiology tests,” he added. Saleh added that Dhaman hospitals would only provide secondary healthcare, while tertiary healthcare will remain the preserve of MoH hospitals. “We are currently discussing the date of launching the service with MoH,” he concluded.

In other news, MoH yesterday denied accusations made in a video posted on social media by a local lawyer claiming that his client’s medical file had been lost. MoH issued a press release stressing that the patient’s file was not lost and also provided the criminal investigation department of a copy from the file. Accordingly, MoH urged all citizens and expats to verify any circulated news and not discuss any cases that are still being tried in courts.

Nurses’ training
Separately, Kuwait Life Sciences Academy CEO and pharmacist Mohammed Nahes Al-Enezi announced that for the first time in Kuwait, the academy concluded the first phase of a specialized training program for nursing staff held under the title of Advanced Trauma Care for Nurses, which has been endorsed by the American College of Surgeons and organized in collaboration with the Amiri, Ibn Sina and Ahmadi hospitals. The academy announced that 16 nurses and doctors took part in the program.

Amiri Hospital casualty specialist Dr Raed Sayyed Hashim said the program aims at reducing death rates amongst trauma patients through trauma care and practical, lifesaving skills. Hashim added that such programs, which were initially launched in Saudi Arabia in 1991, had become basic protocols in most GCC countries and stressed that all nursing staff should attend them. He also noted that such skills should be mandatory when hiring new nursing staff.

Officials suspended
Minister of Justice and Minister of Awqaf and Islamic affairs Fahd Al-Afasi yesterday issued a decision suspending a number of awqaf ministry officials for three months pending investigating possible corruption charges they are facing. Notably, the Public Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) recently referred the Hawally mosques manager and a number of other employees to the public prosecution over alleged involvement in corruption concerning unlawful bonuses and profiteering from public funds.

Fishing licenses
The Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources’ (PAAAFR) acting deputy director Marzouq Al-Azmi stressed that the authority plans to reduce the total number of fishing licenses to below 450, with the aim of increasing Kuwait’s fish resources and reviving them. Azmi added that PAAAFR is currently in the process of allocating plots to be used for farming shrimps, pomfret, sha’am, subaiti and balool fish pending launching operations in the next two years.

By A Saleh and Meshaal Al-Enezi