Posted on January 08, 2016

The Cabinet on Wednesday gave its nod to the formation of a committee that would take the necessary steps to implement the new health insurance system through private companies owned by Qatari nationals. The committee is to be headed by the Ministry of Finance and will have, as members, a number of government agencies, the official Qatar News Agency reported. The move comes just days after the government decided to suspend the services provided through the National Health Insurance Company (Seha) and entrust them with private insurance firms.

Last week, the Cabinet approved proposals by the Supreme Council of Health (SCH) on amending some provisions of Law No 7 of 2013 on health insurance. The amendments annulled Seha and all matters related to its responsibilities on the management of the system. On Wednesday, the Cabinet was briefed on the SCH’s proposals on basic health benefits package for citizens and decided to approve the establishment of the committee.

The panel will be responsible for qualifying insurance companies in accordance with approved conditions for the tender, preparation of the tender document and offering it to eligible companies, development of mechanisms to select private insurance companies that will provide the services, evaluation of the proposals submitted by these companies, choosing the best offer and making recommendations to be approved by the Cabinet. 

It was also decided to approve the tender procedures on the appointment of private insurance firm/s for insurance coverage of citizens according to the proposed timetable and determining the premium for the services and obligations of the bidder. After the regular Cabinet meeting chaired by HE the Prime Minister and Minister of Interior Sheikh Abdullah bin Nasser bin Khalifa al-Thani (pictured) at the Emiri Diwan , HE the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs Ahmed bin Abdullah al-Mahmoud said the session also approved a draft law on the protection of privacy of personal data and referred it to the Advisory Council. 

The provisions of the legislation will apply to personal data processed in an electronic form or obtained/collected/extracted in any other way in preparation for being processed electronically, or by combining electronic and traditional processing methods. The provisions of the law will not apply to personal data processed by individuals at a personal/family level or to obtain official statistical data in accordance with Law No 2 of 2011 on Official Statistics. 

The draft law includes provisions on the rights of individuals to protect the privacy of their personal data, obligations of the controller and processor as well as personal data of a private nature, besides prohibiting the transmission of any electronic communication for the purpose of direct marketing to individuals without obtaining prior consent. In a report issued a few months ago, the Ministry of Information and Communications Technology had said a draft law to protect privacy of personal data was being enacted. It had stressed the need to issue such laws in response to the concerns of organisations over protection of data and privacy rights.

Meanwhile, the Cabinet meeting reviewed a letter by the Minister of Energy and Industry and chairman of the standing committee for water resources and took the appropriate decision. The committee looked into several issues, including a study on the cost and use of treated wastewater and its use in construction works, establishment of wastewater treatment filling stations and a seawater desalination project based on reverse osmosis on-board a vessel.

source: Gulf Times