DOHA: The authorities have started legal action against three major private companies for failure to set up clinics for their workers.
According to the labour law, every company with 500 workers or more is required to establish a seperate clinic for their workers, with at least one doctor and one nurse.
The erring firms have been referred to the Public Prosecution for further investigation, after they were found to be violating the labour law, Al Sharq reported yesterday.
The three erring companies are apparently big firms with several hundred workers under their sponsorship.
The paper didn’t give any further details about the cases, but the incident has been interpreted as a clear indication of Labour Department’s determination to take stern action against companies that violate the rules related to occupational health and safety.
Although the law has made it mandatory for companies to set up their own clinics, if they have 500 or more workers, very few companies are following this rule, it is learnt.
The law also stipulates that companies with a minimum 100 workers should provide a full-time nurse, along with first aid facilities.
“Most companies don’t have their own clinics or medical staff. Instead they have made tie ups with some private clinics to treat their workers. It is not clear whether this arrangement is acceptable under the law,” a senior health official told this newspaper yesterday.
“It seems that the Labour Department is now forcing major companies to establish their own clinics. There had been reports recently about warnings being issued to private companies that had failed to provide proper health care to their workers,” he added.
He said he was not aware of any companies being prosecuted for failure to abide by this rule. “ It is commendable if the Labour Department has now started implementing this rule seriously,” he added.
The law also has made it mandatory for companies to conduct regular health check ups for their workers and keep a track on their heath condition. The company clinics are required to promptley report any incidents related to occupational health.
It has been pointed out that a failure by many companies to provide health care services to their workers is forcing a large number of expatriates to go the Emergency Department (ED) at the Hamad Medical Corporation even for non-serious cases.
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