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Retired patient considers Insurance company commits mistake



A retired patient covered by the health insurance policy, Afia II, is in trouble due to what he considers a mistake committed by the company tasked to implement the insurance project as it refused to pay for the full cost of his treatment.The patient disclosed that he suffered from back pain and the doctors decided to do surgery in order to fix the first, second and fifth vertebrae with six screws.He said the company approved the surgery conducted on Sept 14 at cost of KD 8,950. On the third day after the surgery, the company informed him that it will not pay for more than three days stay at the hospital.

He told the company that he cannot leave because of a plastic packet connected to his back to collect extra blood resulting from the surgery. The company replied that the packet is not enough reason to extend the period of treatment, so he was obligated to pay the fees at his own expense.Before being discharged from the hospital, he was informed that the company refused to pay the full cost of the surgery under the pretext that the cost exceeds the maximum amount specified for surgery. He appealed to officials at the Ministry of Health to find a solution to his problem.-A.T.


Govt statistics show 80% Kuwaitis refused private sector jobs in 2019



Recent government statistics alarmingly showed 59 percent of Kuwaiti youth refused to work in the private sector in 2017, and that the percentage jumped to 80 percent in 2019, Al-Jarida reported yesterday. The statistics, revealed in response to a parliamentary inquiry by MP Abdullah Al-Kandari, showed that the manpower authority had offered Kuwaiti graduates 6,861 job opportunities in the private sector in 2017, but 4,067 of them refused the jobs. “The job opportunities offered in 2018 were 5,778, but only 1,160 nominees accepted them,” the sources added. The manpower authority’s response stressed that as decided by the minister of education’s resolution number 80/2013, it financially supports graduates effective from the date of graduation, professionally guides them and offers them job opportunities in various sectors. – Al-Jarida


Maternity fees increased for expatriates in Govt hospitals



The Minister of Health, Sheikh Dr. Basil Al-Sabah, yesterday approved a decision to increase the birth fees of expatriates who are registered in the health insurance system. 
The decree stipulated that non-Kuwaiti patients enrolled in the health insurance system should pay a fee of KD 100 for normal delivery and for caesarean section KD 150.
The decision pointed out that the natural or Caesarean delivery fees include birth and sonar examination and laboratory tests and medicines other than hospital stay.
The fees for accommodation in the private room increased to 100 dinars per day, an increase of 100 percent.The new fee structure will be implemented from today 9th October 2019.

Health sources confirmed that the decision to increase maternity fees for expatriates was issued after a careful study that took into account the high cost of health service from medical staff and equipment and also took into account the vast difference in maternity fees between the public and private sectors.
The prices of birth, whether natural or Caesarean still after the increase is lower than its counterpart in the private sector.-AlRai



Plan to reduce the number of expats from the current 1.6 million to about 1.1 million by 2021 by imposing fees, taxes



The Ministry of Finance is currently studying the amendment to some provisions of Law No. 79 for the year 1995, on fees and financial costs for the use of public utilities and public services.

In a report submitted to the Council of Ministers as a working paper on the contents of the Ministry’s General Secretariat Letter (No. 9219) on reforms and financial plans of the Ministry, the Ministry affirmed that the amendments aim at increasing the efficiency and development of regulations, policies and procedures currently in place in government bodies, regarding fees and financial costs concerning the use of public utilities and services.

The ministry pointed out that this step will be accompanied by others such as the adoption of tax laws, which includes the draft of tax procedures and selective tax draft. The Kuwaiti government plans to force the private sector to reduce the number of foreign workers in companies and financial institutions, and increase the recruitment of nationals, an official document said.The document revealed the plan to reduce the number of expatriates in the private sector from the current 1.6 million to about 1.1 million by 2021.

According to the document, the government will incentivise private companies to recruit nationals by giving them priority in government projects, in addition to offering them tax cuts and reductions in services. Earlier this year, the Kuwaiti government issued a decision to stop the appointments of expatriates in all government departments.

According to data by the Kuwait Central Statistical Bureau (KCSB), there are currently around 73,000 nationals working in the private sector, while the government plan aims to increase this number to 130,000 by 2021, which amounts to an increase of 78 percent.According to official government data in Kuwait, the number of unemployed Kuwaiti nationals stood at 16,000 by the end of June.-A.T.


Three firefighters suffered from heat exhaustion while battling a blaze in Hawally



Three firefighters suffered from heat exhaustion while battling a blaze reported yesterday morning in Hawally. The fire had started in a 10th floor apartment in a 12-storey building, which was evacuated before firemen extinguished the flames. No other injuries were reported. An investigation was opened to reveal the cause of the fire.-K.T.


124-year-old Swami Sivananda from India lands at Abu Dhabi airport



Swami Sivananda from India, whose passport mentions his date of birth as 08/08/1896 making him 123 years old, just won some new fans during his three-day visit to the UAE. Sivananda was flying from his native city of Kolkata to London with Etihad Airways. With his simple demeanour and conduct, he charmed the staff in the flight and at the airport. The staff gleefully clicked photos with him. They were amazed as they had never come across any passenger whose date of birth on passport dated back to 1896. More surprisingly, the man was walking around unassisted at the airport.The photos and video went viral in no time.

Meanwhile, Etihad Airways said it was happy to host such a distinguished guest.
"As long as you're fit to fly, there really is no age limit to air travel. Etihad flies people of all ages every day, from the youngest infants to centenarians, and we are committed to ensuring that all our guests are well-looked after," an Etihad spokesperson said in a statement.If the data on the passport holds good, Sivananda could be the oldest person alive. However, according to Guinness World Records, the oldest verified living person is Kane Tanaka of Japan, aged 116 years, 278 days, as on October 7.

Sivananda is a regular yoga practitioner, eats very less and never takes milk or fruits.Sivananda has a following in India and this trip is to meet his followers in Europe.


Incheon CEO--working hard to develop the new T4 terminal to make it a smart airport



The promises given by South Korea’s, Incheon CEO Kwang Soo Lee, the project manager of the T4 supporting airport terminal, have not changed a year in the area of security, transportation and advanced inspection devices.

Lee said he is working hard to develop the new T4 terminal to make it a smart airport and invest in it to better serve travelers, noting that the current check-in time takes 10 to 15 minutes. He works hard in coordination with the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to reduce the current time for passengers to pick up their baggage, which varies in size of aircraft.On short flights, he said it takes about 30 minutes, while more time on flights arriving from long distances such as London, Cairo and Istanbul, which usually carry between 330 and 350 passengers.-A.T.


Saudi Arabia started issuing tourist visas for 49 nationalities which is different from Umrah, hajj visas



Saudi Arabia has started issuing tourist visas for nationals of 49 countries at various airports, Batha land border with UAE and King Fahd bridge with Bahrain, said diplomatic sources, noting that both Kuwait and Saudi Arabia are working on developing the Khafji-Nuwaiseeb and Riqee-Salmi land borders between them for the same purpose. The sources expected the development process to be concluded by the end of the year, which would give nationals of these 49 countries residing in Kuwait access to Saudi Arabia through land exits.
However, the sources stressed the umrah and hajj visas are totally different from tourist visas because they are supervised by the Saudi hajj and umrah ministry and goes through a different electronic cycle of procedures. “Saudi Arabia has started the manual issuance of the new tourist visas at its consulates abroad,” the sources remarked, noting that the 49 nationalities include 38 from Europe and 7 from Asia, as well as the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, who can obtain the visa either through the website, or through devices located at the airports of the Kingdom after the payment of the amount of 440 riyals by credit card.-K.T.



Firemen controlled fire at Sulaibiya farm without any casualties



A fire broke out in a 500 sq m warehouse at a Sulaibiya farm used for storing lumber, electrical appliances and heaters. Security sources said firemen from Sulaibikhat, Jleeb, Salmiya, Kuwait City and backup brigades rushed to the scene, where the blaze had extended 70 m outside the warehouse. Firemen managed to contain the flames and prevent the fire from spreading any further, before they controlled the fire without any casualties. Further investigations are in progress to determine the cause of the blaze.-K.T.


Public transportation, one solution to Kuwait’s suffocating gridlocks



Imagine one day in Kuwait going out of your house and heading to a nearby bus, subway, or railway station to get to work or find leisure. Wouldn’t that be convenient? The very concept of public transportation is meant to solve one of the most grueling problems faced in the country with gridlocks stretching as far as the eye could see. While some initiatives in Kuwait exist to encourage people to use public transportation, people are still reluctant to utilize this method for various reasons. Launched by a group of youngsters, the ‘Kuwait Commute’ initiative aims at encouraging people to use public buses to counter traffic jams and lessen the load of cars on the road.

The initiative’s founder Jassem Al-Awadhi said that the main reason for Kuwait Commute was to encourage people to use public transportation. Most Kuwaiti nationals refrain from using public transportation due to it lacking basic means of comfort, Awadhi said, adding that the Central Statistical Bureau’s (CSB) statistics show that only two percent of the population in Kuwait – nationals and expatriates included – use public transportation, which in turn represents less than 15 percent of the total means of transport in the country. He added that bus stops generally lack basic features and safety requirements with most of them positioned on major roads and highways.

Kuwait Commute offers an alternative to private transport, indicated Awadhi, revealing that the initiative managed to put on six trips to encourage the use of public transport. The initiative, so far, was met with positive reactions especially from women who expressed eagerness to use public transport more if services were further developed, Awadhi affirmed. He said that the government was interested in the initiative and officials displayed desire to support it.

Meanwhile, the initiative’s technical director Halah Al-Humoud stressed that the more people use public transport, the more of a chance that Kuwait City could be turned to a modern metropolis free of dreaded gridlocks. Humoud revealed that she lived in New York City for seven years, using public transport as her main method to commute. The presence of hellish gridlocks requires the extensive use of public transportation and the promotion of regulations to favor public commuting, she affirmed, adding that the more people using busses, for example, the less cars will be present on the streets, leading or maybe lessening traffic jams. – KUNA


Firm action needed to stop plastic littering in Kuwait



Many states across the globe, amid alarmingly mounting hazards, have become preoccupied with conserving the environment and creating means to tackle various forms of pollution namely plastic contamination. Such pollution tops hazards against humans’ health and wellbeing; that is certainly much more dangerous for the next generations; thus, there must be a serious stance at the national level and coordination among parties concerned for safe disposing of various plastic items and used products.

Regretfully, plans and programs that have been already drawn up, and some in implementation, to limit the plastic harm, have not resolved the problem and it continues to grow, amid the snowballing technological development and lack of awareness among large segments of the population. Some of the remedies include imposing tougher penalties against irrational disposal of these enduring materials. Careless persons randomly dump plastic bags in various regions on land and at the sea, causing death of various species of creatures.

Moreover, using disposal plastic kitchen utensils, namely dishes, has become widely spread, and in addition to the plastic bags, the environment suffers the harmful burden. The items that end up at the sea fatally harm the fish and other creatures namely turtles that have insatiable appetite for plastic bags. People around the globe, directly or indirectly, are seriously affected with the waste, considering the pollution to underground water, rivers and lakes.

At the local level, leading stakeholders have been sounding the alarm bell, repeatedly, amid various signs how the dumped plastic has been causing death of various species of marine creatures. Dr Sultan Al-Salem, the director of environmental and climatic pollution at Kuwait Institute of Scientific Research (KISR), says the institute is campaigning to raise public awareness of the prevailing danger. KISR is addressing the problem by regularly organizing seminars, publicizing pictures about plastic hazards and methods to dispose of the material, namely hard plastic, safely. The lectures shed light on KISR’s most important studies to minimize plastic contamination and activities by the department of hard plastic, in addition to analyzing means of disintegrating plastic in the Kuwaiti environmental conditions.

KISR is currently focusing its efforts on plastic recycling and applying chemical-thermal disintegration technology. He called on all concerned authorities in the State of Kuwait to seek to enhance public awareness of the dangers resulting from the plastic waste on the wildlife and people’s wellbeing. Salem called for following suits of other countries that have enacted punitive legislations to clamp down on wrongdoers; those who litter plastic cups, bags and other objects, with no regard whatsoever to short and long-term harm. – KUNA


Power, water cut in a bid to force single men to move out from their flats



Dozens of expatriate workers in Kuwait were forced to sleep outdoors for five nights after the electricity and water in the building where they lived was cut in a bid to force single men from their flats. This comes amid an ongoing campaign by the Municipality to evict “bachelors” living in Kuwaiti family areas. Block 2 in Farwaniya is included in the “bachelor ban”, although none of the single men – who are legal residents of Kuwait – were given prior notice that they needed to vacate their apartments.-K.T.



MOI introduced tougher penalties on serious traffic violations;Immediate deportation of expats in 4 cases



The Ministry of Interior has introduced tougher penalties for motorists who commit serious traffic violations.

The ministry will strictly apply the points system on Kuwaitis and expatriates without discrimination and those who exceed the maximum number of points will be put behind bars and in some cases the expatriates will be deported from the country.The Assistant Undersecretary for Traffic and Operations Affairs at the Ministry of Interior, Major-General Jamal Al-Sayegh has issued a circular to the Traffic Violations Department on the need to activate the system of points, especially when an accident leads to loss of life or property or obstruct traffic.

The circular has called for immediate deportation of expatriates in 4 cases — driving under the influence of alcohol, without a license, exceeding the number of points related to crossing the red traffic light or speeding.

Earlier the Ministry of Interior had given a summary which was taken from the Official Gazette.

The points table shows 14 points

— withdrawal of driving licence for 1 month for 1st time violators; 12 points

— second time violation, 6 months withdrawal of driving licence; 10 points

— third time violation, 9 months withdrawal of driving licence; 8 points

— one year withdrawal of driving permit for 4th time violators; 6 points

— permanent withdrawal of driving license for 5th time violators.

The points will be automatically deleted under the following 2 conditions

— if the driving licence is not withdrawn and non-repetition of any other violation within one year of the last violation.

Point System in traffic Violations

4 Points

* Crossing the red signal

* Crossing the maximum speed

* Driving against the flow of traffic on highways and ring roads

* Committing a disgraceful behavior inside the vehicle or allowing it to be happened

3 points

# Driving a heavy duty vehicle on the strength on light driving licence

# Driving a vehicle with a prior suspended license

# Reckless driving

# Driving unlicensed vehicle

# Driving without a numbers plate

# Driving a vehicle whose metal plate was delivered by the Traffic Dept. but its numbers were changed partly or wholly; or whose metal plate was not delivered by the Traffic Dept. and the original numbers were either written or changed

# Giving false information in order to obtain unlawfully some documents like vehicle license, driving license, learning licence

# Using the private car to transport passenger

2 points

$ Hindering or obstructing the traffic flow on purpose

$ Driving a vehicle with faulty brakes

$ If the vehicle owner permits his car to be driven by a driver who has no appropriate license or no license at all

$ Driving a vehicle whose metal plates numbers are not clear or unreadable

1 point

* Driving a vehicle with one metal plate; or whose color and shape has changed or placed in the wrong place of the car

* Driving a vehicle without permission, or with expired permission, or in violation of a given permission

* Decline to show vehicle license or driver’s driving license to the police

* Exceeding the allowed cargo for transport vehicles

* Transporting vehicles violations in terms of the dimensions, length, width, height and weight

* Driving a vehicle with disturbing sounds

* Driving a ‘smoking’ vehicle emitting foul smell from the vehicle

* Driving a vehicle with volatile or combustible cargo that may violate health and road safety standards

* Driving a vehicle with materials dropping on the highway that can be dangerous

* Driving a defected vehicle or defective tires which may influence its balance

* Using lamps, magnifying sound or warning instrument not allowed by the law, causing damage to traffic signs, light signs, control equipment; or changing their features, places, directions, or covering it by stickers

* If the driver doesn’t drive according to road lines or traffic signs, driving over roads abutment, turning around or entering in the opposite direction of the traffic, driving a vehicle without a valid insurance policy and replacement of a major part of the vehicle.-A.T.


Hackers target MoI, PACI, and PAM systems because of their huge data bank



The Public Authority for Civil Information (PACI) website was exposed to hacking in a series of operations last month that lasted until the beginning of this month.The hackers focused on some of loopholes to enter the system, disable it and steal the data to encrypt it for extortion.The hackers caused the disruption of e-linking systems in the Ministry of Interior (MoI), PACI and the Public Authority for Manpower (PAM) and other organizations, repeatedly over the past five days.The targeting of MoI, PACI, and PAM systems because of their huge databank which contains confidential information related to bank accounts and other information concerning citizens and also residents.-A.T.



Payment of health insurance fee online only from today Oct 6



Ministry of Interior has cancelled paper transactions for health insurance, and instead, the payment of health insurance fee will be done online for everyone who have fulfilled the residency application conditions starting from today Oct 6, 2019.In a statement issued through the General Department of Public Relations and Security Media, the ministry exempted the Citizen Service Centers from the online payment services until Oct 28.

Statement affirmed that, after the announcement, all paper transactions will be cancelled completely and replaced by online service on the Ministry of Health’s website, or and the applicant should log in to complete the payment of health insurance before heading to the departments of residency affairs or the service center to complete the remaining procedures.-A.T


Kuwaiti Ambassador to India delivered letter requesting to increase the number of seats between the two countries.



Kuwait is looking forward to enhance cooperation with India by increasing number of flights between the two friendly countries, Kuwaiti Ambassador to India Jassim Al-Najem said on Friday. Najem made this statement after meeting with Indian Minister of State for Commerce and Industry and Minister of State for Civil Aviation Affairs Hardeep Singh Puri and delivering an official letter requesting to increase the number of seats between the two countries.

The previous agreement at this level between the two countries is limited to 12,000 seats per week, the ambassador said. He stressed that the Memorandum of Understanding signed in 2007 did not meet the ambitions, expressing Kuwait’s aspiration to sign a new agreement aimed at allocating greater share of seats to the airlines of both the countries. Najem affirmed the keenness of the political leadership in both countries to enhance cooperation in various fields, praising the historic relations between the two friendly countries based on solid foundations of mutual respect.

Meanwhile, minister Puri affirmed his country’s keenness to enhance trade exchange and cooperation with Kuwait in various fields, especially in the aviation sector. This sector is one of the main sources of national income, especially with the increase of Indian expatriate community in Kuwait, which currently stands at around one million people. On the increase in the number of Kuwaiti tourists coming to India and the number of Indian transit passengers to Kuwait, Puri said it was agreed to hold a new round of bilateral talks in the near future in the Indian capital New Delhi. The minister praised the historic and distinguished relations between India and Kuwait. A delegation from the General Directorate of Kuwaiti Civil Aviation headed by Director General Sheikh Salman Al-Hamoud Al-Sabah discussed in India earlier this year cooperation in the field of civil aviation and air transport during the World Aviation Summit held in Mumbai last January. – KUNA


Guidelines for ministries and other government bodies to publish news on social media



Guidelines for ministries and other government bodies to publish news on social media


Kuwait’s Center for Government Communication (CGC) has presented several recommendations and guidelines for ministries and other government bodies, such as ways to publish their activities and news on social media platforms in a bid to prevent and curb the spread of rumors in an organized and effective manner.
The recommendations emphasized the need to avoid publication of pictures of ministers, officials or employees with any statement, attach the country’s official logo as an alternative, not to publish news on personal receptions, prohibit employees from issuing any statement in the name of the ministry, and to limit statements with the name of the ministry.The guidelines cover only social communication platforms, except the statements issued for newspapers.-A.T.



First Arab on ISS returns to Earth



A three-man crew including an Emirati who became the first Arab to reach the International Space Station returned to Earth safely yesterday and were in good shape, the Russian space agency Roscosmos said. Hazzaa Al-Mansoori of the United Arab Emirates touched down in the Kazakh steppes at 1059 GMT along with NASA astronaut Nick Hague and Roscosmos cosmonaut Alexey Ovchinin, who both survived a failed launch to the ISS last year.Hague and Ovchinin completed a 203-day mission aboard the lab while Mansoori’s two crewmates from his September 25 launch-Russia’s Oleg Skripochka and NASA’s Jessica Meir-are staying on as part of a six-member team.

Although Mansoori’s mission was short – eight days in total-it has been the source of great pride in the UAE, a newcomer to the world of space with ambitions to send an unmanned probe to orbit Mars by 2021. Mansoori has been active on Twitter where he shared photos of the UAE and Mecca-Islam’s holiest site-from the space station. Yesterday, he posted a view of space taken from the orbiting station’s Cupola panoramic observatory module and paid tribute to UAE founding father Sheikh Zayed.

The ISS-a rare example of cooperation between Russia and the West-has been orbiting Earth at about 28,000 kilometers an hour since 1998.


Guidelines for ministries and other government bodies to publish news on social media



Kuwait’s Center for Government Communication (CGC) has presented several recommendations and guidelines for ministries and other government bodies, such as ways to publish their activities and news on social media platforms in a bid to prevent and curb the spread of rumors in an organized and effective manner.

The recommendations emphasized the need to avoid publication of pictures of ministers, officials or employees with any statement, attach the country’s official logo as an alternative, not to publish news on personal receptions, prohibit employees from issuing any statement in the name of the ministry, and to limit statements with the name of the ministry.The guidelines cover only social communication platforms, except the statements issued for newspapers.-A.T.


Sabah Al-Ahmad city will continue to suffer from the water flooding problem



The people living in the Sabah Al-Ahmad city will continue indefinitely to suffer from the water flooding problem.This is due to the refusal of the State Audit Bureau (SAB) to award the tender to supply pumps and pipes to move the water to the reservoirs of the Public Authority for Agricultural Affairs and Fish Resources (PAAAFR).

The Audit Bureau says the ministry has failed to comply with the approval of the Central Agency for Public Tenders regarding condition of floating the bids which included a single prerequisite for qualification, that is to say to be limited to the companies categorized for road works activities.On the other hand the companies, which were excluded (6 companies) after the November rain crisis last year, received letters from the technical sectors of the ministry to address the shortcomings identified by the fact-finding committee in some of its projects.

The issue of clearance awaiting companies after they submitted what they said that they deal with the damage will be discussed during a meeting of senior ministry officials with the Minister of Public Works Jenan Ramadan.The decision to lift the suspension of companies that have complied with the decision of the Grievance Committee by addressing the shortcomings in some of its projects, will participate to the implementation of some of the projects that have been awarded to some of these companies.-A.T.


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