The e-cash payment system that has been operational in all Primary Health Centres (PHCs) across the country since July 1, is running smoothly. Soon, all the PHCs in the country will have a bank counter to help patients with e-card facilities, an official said.
“PHCs are doing much to facilitate its services to the people. To help people with the e-cash system we had introduced, the department has established contracts with Qatar National Bank (QNB). The bank will provide debit cards with small amounts to help the people,” said Muslim Al Nabit, Financial Affairs Administration director at Primary Healthcare department.
“We have started to implement new facilities to help with the e-cash system by having QNB branches in three health centres namely — the Expatriate walk-in-clinic, Madeena Kahlifa and Al Rayyan PHC. Soon all the 23 health centres throughout Qatar will have a bank counter to facilitate the needs of the people,” he said.
Cash payment system for PHC services were introduced due to complaints from PHC staff who handled payments. At times, employees had to use their own money to cover-up any shortages that could happen.
“The new system was introduced at PHCs after a similar system was introduced in various ministries, departments as immigration, traffic, Kahramaa, and departments of health including the Medical Commission. People are in fact satisfied with the change, as many usually find it difficult to get change due to shortage of currencies,” he said
However, women and domestic helps had more problems at the beginning as they were not used to e-payments and also many did not have debit or credit cards.
Hence initially many had insisted to pay in cash, “however, we refused as we wanted to implement the new system. Now the system has been accepted by all, though there are some individual problems once in a while,” he said.
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