DOHA: People under personal sponsorship, including those on family visa and domestic workers, will soon be able to seek prior appointments online for the mandatory health check-ups at the Medical Commission.
The panel conducts tests for Aids, tuberculosis and hepatitis on newly arrived foreign workers, their families and long-staying visitors and only if they test negative, they are allowed to stay on.
The online appointment system was introduced for those coming here to work in private companies and the government sector and is not available for others.
The panel said it would make the system available for families and domestic workers within six months. Once the facility is made available, people would not be required to queue up for long hours at the panel and would instead come at the appointed hours, thus saving their time and avoiding crowding at the panel.
The Director of the commission, Dr Ibrahim Al Shaar, (pictured) said those on family sponsorships could also go to the designated private hospitals for the mandatory check-ups.
He, however, admitted that not many professionals who are currently permitted to undergo tests prefer private hospitals and instead come to the commission.
“This is because we give away the results of the tests within two days and also that private hospitals charge more fee,” Al Shaar told local Arabic daily Al Arab.
He said that studies have been done to set up separate check-up facilities for ‘food handlers’ within the commission premises.
Once operational, the unit will be able to handle about 400 such workers daily. “They are one of the largest groups of visitors to the commission, and that was why the need to have a separate unit was felt,” said Dr Al Shaar. Food handlers are required to undergo annual check-ups.
He said that a unit of the commission was set to be to be opened up in the Industrial Area in coordination with Red Crescent in a month. It will handle about 400 to 500 workers daily, thus augmenting the capacity of the commission which currently is 1,800.
Dr Al Shaar said that on a normal day the panel handles about 2,700 people on average, and most of them are eligible to seek prior appointments online. Two more units are planned and the Supreme Council of Health has already inked a deal with Red Crescent. The Peninsula