Panel okays proposal to regulate electricity, water, fuel subsidies

The parliamentary Legislative and Legal Affairs Committee approved Sunday the proposal to regulate electricity, water and fuel subsidies for government agencies and their employees.

The committee also approved bills on inclusion of the children of Kuwaiti women married to non-Kuwaitis and Bedouns in the national manpower support, addressing problems of Kuwaiti employees laid off from private companies, and establishment of two State universities – one in Mubarak Al-Kabir or Ahmadi and another in Jahra.

Committee Chairman MP Mohammed Al-Dalal disclosed the bill on electricity, water and fuel subsidies require government agencies to fulfill their financial obligations directly from their budgets. He said the committee also approved the proposal to support national employees in the oil sector, while it rejected the recommendation to increase the social allowance for children of Kuwaitis working in the private sector as it contravenes the Constitution.

He added the committee approved the proposals to exempt an only child from mandatory military service; double the year in civil service for those who will render compulsory military service; establish a development center for teachers comprising of representatives from the Ministry of Education and Higher Education, Secretariat General of Awqaf and Teachers Association; amend the Pre-Marriage Medical Examination Law such that men who are planning to get married will participate in a twoweek pre-marriage training course to learn about their rights and obligations if they wish to do so but it is not mandatory; set water and electricity charges; and establish a Kuwaiti shareholding company to supply , install and operate an automated system for reading electricity meters and to allow advance payment of bills. He added the committee decided to submit these proposals to the competent panels so the next meeting will focus on the Anti-Corruption Law, while it postponed taking a decision on the Small Enterprises Bill for further study.

Meanwhile, Minister of Health Dr Jamal Al-Harbi said the Ministry of Health’s Licensing Committee found 18 medical errors within three years (2014-2016) and 79 investigations were conducted in the same period. This is in response to the question of MP Mohammed Al- Huwailah about medical errors in private hospitals.

Al-Harbi confirmed the committee conducted investigations on the treatment of patients in private medical institutions in accordance with Therapeutic Institutions Law number 49/1960 and its amendments, as well as decree number 25/1981 on dermatology, dental and other supporting professions.

Upon receiving information or complaint regarding medical errors in private medical institutions, the ministry usually requests for the medical file of the concerned patient and then specialized medical committees are formed.

Depending on the patient’s condition, the ministry looks into the technical and legal aspects of the situation and the case will be forwarded to the Medical Licensing Committee. If proven that the doctors committed errors, they will be punished as per Article 41 of the decree.

Penalties include warning which should be enforced without summoning the offender to appear before the Medical Licensing Committee, suspension from work for a period not exceeding one year, cancellation of license to practice the profession, and closure of the clinic, the minister explained. On cosmetic surgeries, Al- Harbi disclosed the Health Permits Department is in charge of inspecting and supervising the private medical sector to ensure compliance with rules and regulations, in addition to coordinating with quality management and recognition bodies to apply quality standards in private hospitals or to improve them in line with global developments.

He asserted that operations, such as cosmetic surgery, are not permitted unless they are done in hospitals or surgery centers – for one day only – in accordance with the regulations set by the ministry. He added medical errors in private medical institutions are part of the responsibilities of the concerned medical facility, not the ministry whose role is limited to granting permission to open treatment institutions and inspecting them as per Article Two of Act 49/1960 on therapeutic institutions.


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