Health insurance likely won't be extended to cover all citizens

KUWAIT: Under auspices of the Capital Governor Sheikh Talal Al-Khaled Al-Sabah, the Municipal Council's Capital committee organized a workshop on developing various projects and services within the capital. The workshop included a presentation made by Kuwait Municipality's structural plan department on the capital's development in the fourth structural plan currently in progress.
Committee chairman Hassan Kamal said the presentation included a project to develop and expand Souq Mubarakiya, which is due to commence by the beginning of the new fiscal year. He added that traffic plans, providing enough parking spaces and public services were also discussed during the workshop. Kamal said the workshop also discussed the heritage village project in Sharq as a strategic project.

The finance ministry's assistant undersecretary Dr Ghazi Ayyash attended the workshop and explained that the contract of the previous heritage village project had been annulled and it is now being executed as a BOT project. Capital Governor Sheikh Talal Al-Khaled stressed that the workshop was very fruitful as many development projects were discussed, such as Souq Mubarakiya, traffic plans, landscaping and the heritage village.

Health insurance
In other news well-informed official sources at the Ministry of Health said that the current retirees' health insurance will not be extended to include all citizens. Notably, the parliament had passed the retirees health insurance law three years ago and implemented it as a first phase to be followed by further phases to include all citizens. In this regard, the sources explained that the retirees' health insurance currently costs the state 'a fortune' and that extending it to all citizens will multiply the cost, while the reasons the law was set in the first place may gradually vanish in the foreseeable future.

"The idea was originally to make things easier for retirees and give them more treatment choices in public and private hospitals without having to wait long for medical appointments," the sources explained. They further noted that after increasing healthcare fees on expats, their numbers are remarkably decreasing in various public hospitals and they are gradually heading to private hospitals for treatment. "This means waiting lists and periods at public hospitals will accordingly decrease, especially after opening new hospitals to be run by international well-trained managements," the sources further elaborated.

By Meshaal Al-Enezi and A Saleh