Qatar to Introduce Mandatory Health Check Rules
Date: Jun 30, 2010
Source: The Peninsula
The Medical Commission, in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior, has finalized plans to make it mandatory for job seekers from several Asian, African and Middle Eastern countries to undergo a medical check-up in their home countries before they arrive here.
The check-up will be made mandatory in a few months, a senior official of the Medical Commission said yesterday.
“The decision to reintroduce the tests was taken some time ago and we are now in the final stages of the preparations in collaboration with the Ministry of Interior,” said Dr. Ibrahim Alshaar, director of the Medical Commission.
“Some people are already doing the tests before their arrival in Qatar, but it has not yet been made mandatory. It will be made mandatory very soon.”
The plan was officially announced in April last year at a joint press conference organized by the Medical Commission and the Ministry of Interior.
The rule will apply to job seekers from 11 countries: India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Syria and Eritrea.
“We would start with a few South Asian countries like India and expand it to other countries in a phased manner. All job seekers will have to undergo the tests once they are made mandatory,” said Alshaar.
He said the mandatory tests at the Medical Commission would continue even after the new system is implemented. Currently every newcomer to Qatar must undergo the tests at the Medical Commission to detect contagious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.
“We will continue the tests at the Medical Commission until we are fully assured about the quality and reliability of the tests that are conducted by the authorized medical centers in those countries,” said Alshaar.
There are more than 200 medical centers in the 11 countries that are authorized to conduct the tests. The fee for the tests is fixed at $50, said Alshaar.
“The test results will be forwarded online to the Medical Commission by the medical centres concerned,” said Alshaar. “We will forward them to the Ministry of Interior that will issue the visas for the applicants based on the test results.”
The new recruits will have to carry the medical certificate with them for verification when they arrive in Qatar, he added.
The Ministry of Interior had earlier said that the tests would not be made mandatory for people coming to Qatar on a visit visa. Only those seeking a residence permit in the country will have to undergo the check-up.
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