The Medical Commission’s first branch which was opened in Industrial Area yesterday.
DOHA: The first branch of Medical Commission, which conducts the mandatory health check-up for newly recruited workers, opened in Industrial Area yesterday.
The facility attached to the Industrial Area health centre, will cater to male expat labourers and has a capacity of 400 to 500 visitors daily, Supreme Council of Health (SCH) said yesterday.
This is the first satellite unit of the commission, based in Abu Hamour. The commission is responsible for conducting mandatory medical tests for newcomers to the country to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.
Tests focus on HIV/Aids, tuberculosis and hepatitis B and C. Only those who pass the tests will be eligible for a Qatari residence permit.
The commission had earlier allowed three private hospitals to conduct tests for certain segments of expat workers.
The new unit was set up by SCH in collaboration with the Ministry of Energy and Industry. Qatar Red Crescent (QRC) will manage it.
Dr Ibrahim Al Shaar, Director of the commission, said the new facility is the first of satellite units planned in the coming years.
“It will help expand our services and make them faster and easily accessible,” he said.
Asked if the new facility would help reduce the rush at the main facility in Abu Hamour, that sees up to 3,000 visitors daily, Al Shaar said it was too early to say.
“There may be a positive impact in terms of waiting time since labourers form the major chunk of our visitors,” he said.
He said the new branch had only a few visitors on the first day but the number is expected to increase by next week. Online registration for workers begins today.
He said there is a plan to set up another branch of the commission in Mesaimeer, that is expected to be ready next year.
“The idea is to build a health centre for workers in Mesaimeer, with a separate section for commission services,” said Al Shaar.
The Mesaimeer unit will have a capacity of 10,000 visitors monthly, SCH said in a separate statement yesterday.
Al Shaar, along with Dr Saleh bin Ali Al Merri, Assistant General Secretary for Medical Affairs at SCH, toured the facility yesterday. They were accompanied by Dr Abdussalam Al Qahtani, a member of QRC’s board of directors and Engineer Yousuf Ahmed Al Emadi, Director of the Industrial Areas Department at the ministry, among other officials.
SCH said the new branch is well-equipped to conduct tests and deliver results. A team of medical and administrative staff from different nationalities has been hired for the facility, which will function from 7am to 9pm daily.