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Expatriate women complain of lack of organisation at medical centres

Chest x-ray procedures especially unpleasant and confusing

Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: The lack of organisation at Abu Dhabi medical centres that offer visa-related checks has been a concern for many expatriate women.

In addition to misleading timings on the website of the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha), women also find the procedures for the chest x-ray difficult.

The medical checks are required for visa renewals, and include blood tests and chest x-rays, among other procedures. According to the Seha website, the main Abu Dhabi city Seha centre on Hazza Bin Zayed Street is open on weekdays from 7am to 7pm.

“Based on the website timings, I visited the centre two weeks ago at 12pm, but was told that the appointment section was closed,” L. Zahid, 43, an Indian sales manager, told Gulf News.

“I went back at 6.30 am the next morning, but the procedure still took me about three whole hours,” she added.

Like many other women, Zahid found it unpleasant undergoing the chest x-ray.

“There are very few changing rooms and technicians, and all the women are cramped into a small space as they wait their turn,” she explained.

G. Miranda, a secretary in the capital, said the changing rooms did not have place for women to leave their outfits before the x-ray.

“I did not know what to do, and yet there were many other women asking me what to do next. I was surprised that there was not even a single medical centre worker to guide us,” she said.

Abu Dhabi city has another Seha centre that provides these medical checks, but it is located in Mussaffah. When asked, women said they preferred to get the test done in the Hazza Bin Zayed Centre because many male workers use the Mussaffah facility.

“The Seha should definitely improve the organisation at this only medical centre for these tests, or allow private medical centres to provide these as well,” Miranda added.