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DOHA: The health centre in the New Industrial Area (NIA) plans to begin conducting mandatory health checks on newly-arriving foreign workers from early next year — a job the Medical Commission (MC) carries out at present.
Newly-arriving workers must undergo checks for diseases like Aids, TB and Hepatitis in order to be eligible to get a residency permit. The Medical Commission conducts such tests now.
The section of mandatory health checks would be annexed to the health centre and would be handle about 400 workers a day, thus taking some burden off the Medical Commission.
These will be the workers who would be coming to be engaged in projects located in the New Industrial Area, said Dr Dawood Abdulmoaty, the director of the health centre which is dedicated to serving low-income foreign workforce. The proposed move is part of the plan of the Supreme Council of Health to further decentralise the work of the Medical Commission.
The health centre of the New Industrial Area has been operating for the past two years and plans are afoot to shift it into new premises after three years.
Although the capacity of the health centre is 500 patients a day, it handles almost double the number of workers who come for treatment for various ailments.
Initially, about 700 workers used to turn up for treatment but as days passed by the number swelled and went up to 950, said Abdulmoaty.
The health centre operates from 7am until 9pm and its emergency section is open round-the-clock. However, very critical emergency cases are instantly transferred to the emergency unit of Hamad Medical Corporation.
Depending on the severity of a case, helicopter ambulances are also deployed to transfer emergency cases to HMC’s emergency unit, said Abdulmoaty.
Most emergency cases relate to brain haemorrhage, heart attack and accidents. The doctor said that sometimes workers come to the health centre for no rhyme or reason as they might be trying to shirk work. The health centre has 27 doctors, 34 nurses, 21 medical technicians and the emergency section has six medical technicians.