BY SAJILA SASEENDRAN
DEPARTMENT of Health and Medical Services (Dohms) in Dubai will start implementing the new rules regarding medical fitness test for visa procedures only by Oct.1, a senior official said on Tuesday.
This is to complete the new project of a massive medical fitness centre in Al Ghusais, which will take the additional load from Al Maktoum Hospital and private clinics which have been conducting medical fitness tests, Head of Medical Fitness Department at Dohms Maisa Al Bustani told The Gulf Today.
Expatriates applying for new or renewal of residence visa have to undergo medical tests to prove that they are free of severe contagious diseases. The new rule banning private and municipal clinics from conducting these tests is effective across the country from July 1, as per a Cabinet decree issued in April.
However, Bustani said the Dohms would take nearly three months to implement the new system as "there were many preparations to be done."
"We may not be able to handle the huge number of applicants since the rule bans private clinics from doing medical fitness tests. We are waiting for the completion of our big centre in Ghusais that can accommodate the rush of applicants as our main medical fitness centre in Al Maktoum Hospital will stop functioning soon. Moreover, those private clinics whose medical fitness certificates used to be accepted by the DNRD (Department of Natrualisation and Residency in Dubai) will also stop the service as per the new rule."
A unique feature of the Ghusais centre is an isolation unit that can quarantine over 60 people infected with HIV/Aids or tuberculosis. "Earlier the HIV infected people used to be admitted to Al Baraha Hospital's isolation ward till they get deported. Those with TB were either admitted in Al Maktoum or Rashid hospitals."
The centre will have a waiting area with a capacity of 200 people. "It will have five X-ray machines worth Dhs1 million each and other state-of-the-art medical equipment worth Dhs16million. It will also house 15 counters for blood collection and an office for DNRD officials."
Bustani said the Dohms would open another medical fitness centre in Jebel Ali exclusively for the employees of Jebel Ali Free Zone Authority. There are already two exclusive medical fitness centres under the Dohms. One is in Dubai International Financial Centre and another one in Safa offers the service for VIPs and executives. Another centre in Dubai International Airport caters to the officials and employees of the airport.
Apart from Al Maktoum hospital, common public could access the service from the medical fitness centres in Satwa and Jebel Ali. Centres in Al Mankhool, Al Twar and Al Khawaneej are specifically for housemaids and those companies registered with these centres.
The service will also continue in Dubai Municipality's clinic under the supervision of Dohms officials. The fitness certificate issued by DM clinic will carry the logo of both the Dohms and DM as per agreement between the two bodies.
Bustani said that the basic medical fitness test is done for a fee of Dhs250 except in exclusive centres like the ones in Safa and DIFC. Current fees here are Dhs690 and Dhs350 respectively. "The fee structure in these centres will be reviewed soon," she added.
Source: Gulf Today