Retirees’ health insurance program to cover new treatments

July 8, 2018

The health insurance program that the health ministry offers for retired citizens will cover new treatments when the new tender is awarded later this year. The ministry had started last year a program that covers medical expenses for retirees at private clinics. The program, dubbed ‘Afiya’, covers basic treatments, but the list was expanded to include new services such as dental treatment and teeth implant, removing benign and malignant tumors, and cardiac surgeries, according to sources familiar with the matter.

Subscribers will start benefiting from the new services once the ministry signs a contract with the insurance company that wins a tender placed to provide treatments included in the program, after the original contract expired last year. The tender was supposed to be awarded earlier this year, but Minister of Health Dr Bassel Al-Sabah had decided to reoffer it for public bidding due to irregularities in the original bidding process. The new tender does not cover any new categories of patients, said the sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity. The total number of Afiya health insurances cards issued for Kuwaiti retirees has increased to 123,000, the sources said.

In other news, the Ministry of Health is expected to announce soon the opening of the Khairan polyclinic after providing the needed medical and nursing staffs, said well-informed sources, noting that the clinic might be opened within two or three weeks at most.

The sources added that clinic would include all basic medical services through general medicine, dentistry, diabetes clinics, nursing, preventive medicine, lab and pharmacy to serve the area residents. “Khairan is located 85 kilometers south of Kuwait City and has 355,330 housing units,” the sources added.

Written exams

The Ministry of Public Works (MPW) plans to have candidates undergo written exams, in addition to personal interviews, after they apply for supervisory positions’ vacancies starting next month. There are 45 employees nominated for positions that include managers and head of departments, according to ministry sources. On another concern, the sources said that upon direct instructions from minister Hussam Al-Roumi, MPW was currently preparing lists of employees who had been in service for 32 years pending referring them to retirement.

Sustainability report

Rapporteur of the parliament’s financial affairs committee MP Saleh Ashour said that he sent a letter to Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Anas Al-Saleh, notifying him that the government had not sent its financial and economic sustainability report to the committee yet. Ashour also said that he was surprised to learn that the committee was actually expected to discuss the program without receiving it. “We need to review the government’s economic plans,” he underlined.

University project

An annual report released to follow up the 2017-2018 development plan shows that 42 percent of Sabah Al-Salem University project has been completed. The report also notes that the project would enhance higher education’s capacity, as it includes 12 sub-project with a total cost of KD 225.5 million.