Dubai: The public and facilities approved by the emirate's health authority to do residency medical fitness tests fear being overwhelmed, while waiting for municipality clinics to be allowed to continue issuing medical fitness certificates.
Effective July 1, municipality clinics can no longer conduct residency medical fitness tests following a Cabinet decision.
Residents have been confused over where to go to renew their residency visa, after fitness tests they underwent at the municipality clinic in Dubai were rejected by the Ministry of Labour.
Although Dubai Municipality clinics have signed an agreement with Dubai Department of Health and Medical Services (Dohms) to continue conducting medical fitness tests, there is no word when it will come into effect.
A senior official at Dohms, who declined to be named, told Gulf News, residents should undergo their medical fitness tests only at centres approved to issue health certificates required for a residency visa.
"[Residents] can do it at Dohms primary healthcare centres, but not at hospitals. And Al Maktoum Hospital [which has been turned into a primary healthcare centre] is doing the tests like before," he said.
However, medical centres fear being overwhelmed by residents seeking to renew their visas while waiting for Dubai municipality clinics to be re-instated.
Dr. Mustafa Al Hashimi, director Al Baraha Hospital, told Gulf News they used to serve as many as 1,500 applicants daily. "Now the number will definitely go up. We can only serve a maximum of 2,000 a day," he said.
Dr Ottmar Schmidt, director of marketing and public relations at Welcare World Health Systems, told Gulf News the group's centre in Knowledge Village was only doing tests for employees of certain companies.
"We do it only for the TECOM area, not for the general public. We're not sure if we can do it [for the general public]," he said.
Where to go: Test locations
- Al Maktoum Hospital, Deira
- All Dohms primary healthcare centres. For a comprehensive list, go to www.dohms.gov.ae
- Al Baraha Hospital, Abu Hail
- Cedars-Jebel Ali International Hospital
- Iranian Hospital, Satwa
- Welcare Ambulatory Care Centre, Knowledge Village
- The Specialised Clinical Laboratory, Deira
- Biosytech Medical Laboratory, Bur Dubai
- Prime Diagnostic Centre, Deira