A total of 7,745 foreigners had been deported because of failing the mandatory medical tests at the Medical Commission during the one year period between April 1, 2008 and March 31, 2009, a senior official of the Commission has said.
A huge majority of those who failed in the tests — 7,118 people- were found to be suffering from tuberculosis (TB), a contagious disease. A total of 182 HIV/AIDS, 350 Hepatitis B and 95 Hepatitis C cases had also been reported during the period.
Dr Ibrahim Al Shaar, director of the Medical Commission, in an interview with Al Arab daily said a total of 76,000 people had undergone the tests
last year. The Commission receives 1,500 to 2,000 applicants daily and about 800 of them are labourers hailing mainly from Asian countries. Housemaids, drivers and those working in restaurants and the service sector dominate the other segment of visitors, with their total numbers amounting to 600 to 700 daily.
The Commission has reported a rapid rise in the number of applicants working with eateries and other food outlets between 2007 and 2009. Their numbers has grown from 2,483 in 2007 to 26,935 in 2009.
Al Shaar said the number of applicants to the Commission had in fact come down after the introduction of some new systems that focus more on quality of the services. Earlier, the Commission had been receiving up to 2,500 applicants daily which has now come down to a maximum 2,000.
The Commission last year had introduced e-registration for companies, which has proved a success, despite some initial difficulties. All companies with more than 20 workers are now required to register online for the tests.
The Commission has also introduced the touch-screen token system to organise the queues and replaced cash payments with payments using ATM cards.
Al Shaar said the Commission did not discriminate between people seeking the tests.
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