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Tuesday , December 6 2022

Congestion at medical test center for expatriate workers continues

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Sight embodies a ‘suffering journey’

KUWAIT CITY, June 15: Despite the implementation of some regulatory measures by the Ministry of Health regarding the medical test for expatriates, the crisis related to crowding is still prevalent at the medical test center. The scene has reached the point of chaos especially during certain working times. This chaos will continue everyday until a practical solution to end this choking congestion is found, reports Al-Rai daily. The ministry had previously proposed a solution to the crisis, which was to allocate the morning shift to receive domestic workers in the presence of their sponsors, and the evening shift for the rest of the expatriate workers according to prior appointment dates.

Expatriates seen in queue at the medical test center.

This procedure succeeded in alleviating the burden faced by the ministry officials for a few days, but the crisis quickly reemerged, as people have not been adhering to the prior appointments, or the absorptive capacity of the test centers was not estimated accurately. The sight of the expatriates queuing outside the test centers, especially when the temperatures are so high, embodies a “suffering journey” that may be crowned with success in completing the tests, or failure, disappointment, and the need to return the next day with the hope that luck will be on their side.

According to health sources, what the ministry has done to solve the problem is merely “sedative” and will expire within a short time, in light of the great pressure on test centers and the increasing numbers of applicants, which increased from about 1,600 per day before the COVID-19 crisis to about 3,000, and continues to increase during the current period.

The way to solve the crisis lies in accelerating the implementation of six procedures set by the ministry. They are still on hold due to reasons related to the processing aspects, which now require a decision from the Minister of Health Dr. Khaled Al-Saeed. Without expediting the implementation of these steps, the solution will be limited to mere “sedative”, in light of the multiplication of the number of expatriates requesting service following the exceptional period that followed the COVID-19 crisis.

The six procedures set by the ministry to remedy this crisis are:
1 – Operating a new center in Mishref with a capacity to handle 500 to 700 cases per day
2 – Processing and opening other centers to raise the capacity to 4,000 transactions per day
3 – Increasing the absorptive capacity of the existing centers. They have been raised, but the target has not been achieved so far
4 – Strictly implementing the prior appointment policy
5 – Consulting and coordinating with the Ministry of Interior regarding clients who did not obtain a prior appointment
6 – Using the reinforcement laboratories in some health facilities to relieve pressure on the existing laboratories.

The sources expressed confidence in the intervention of the Minister of Health Dr. Khaled Al-Saeed and the Undersecretary of the ministry Dr. Mustafa Reda in overcoming the obstacles through radical solutions and measures.

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