Abu Dhabi: Disease Prevention and Screening Centres in Abu Dhabi and Musafah under the Abu Dhabi Health Services (SEHA) are experiencing long queues of applicants after announcing that medical checkups for visas will be done by them only.

They will offer extra services to keep up with an average of 3,000 people a day since they opened on January 5, Gulf News was told.

The first day witnessed a long queue of approximately 3,000 visa seekers and the number increased the next day to 3,200.

Dr Zainab Khazaal, the centres' manager, said that new and important steps are underway to ensure a smooth and fast experience for applicants.

One step is an express line for an extra Dh100 which will enable applicants to move rapidly through the process and this is due to begin in a few weeks.

Mobile clinics

"The procedure of taking the blood test, an X-ray and a general examination shouldn't take more than half an hour in the express line," she said.

Mobile clinics will also be introduced between June and September which will perform medical tests at a person's doorstep.

The long queues in the last few days were due to the time of the year, said Zainab. "It's the beginning of January, the beginning of the week and after a long vacation when both private and public companies were off, the large volume numbers were expected."


Before introducing medical checkup options for visa applicants, the centre operated from 7am to 3pm five days a week.

The timings increased from 7am to 6pm by November and again an extra hour was introduced in January (from 7am to 7pm six days a week, and on Saturdays by appointment only).

Ramesh Menon, who works in his company's paperwork legalisation process, said one of his co-workers arrived at the centre at 9am on Monday and waited in line without success.

"The next day she made it a point to reach the centre at 6.30am...she managed to finish everything by 11am, which given the pressure the centre is undergoing, is perfectly understandable," Menon said.


List of personnel

Staff members in the Abu Dhabi and Musafah Disease Prevention and Screening Centres:

- 15 screening physicians

- 13 X-ray technicians

-32 blood collection and laboratory staff

-30 clerks

Your comments

They should keep their old system which was perfect and without pain. It is very difficult to stand in long queues after which it is not even confirmed that your work will be done.
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: January 08, 2009, 18:34

Today it took me one and a half hours for my turn for the blood test. I was asked to come again tomorrow between 9am and 3pm for the x-ray.
Syed Faiz Jalal
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: January 08, 2009, 17:48

We are not really able to understand the reason behind changing rules and regulations of a system which is working perfectly. In fact, people are finding it very difficult to find a house in Abu Dhabi. I would like to request the concerned authorities to concentrate on these important issues rather than disturbing a system which is operating perfectly and making it more complicated.
Nirmala Rajan
Abu Dhabi,United Arab Emitates
Posted: January 08, 2009, 17:44

Recently it is being noted that the authorities want to secure the administration process. First it was for the National ID and then changes were made in the application of traffic file, for which there is no information on where the applicant needs to apply to save time. It is a full day affair at the traffic section in EDC, and now the medical checkup for visa process also has limited counters and shortage of personnel to cope with it. With the increase of expatriates, we expect he authorities to make the facilities easier. For the new medical check up system authorities should have increased the counters at medical centers beforehand to avoid the rush at existing centres.
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: January 08, 2009, 16:09

Why turn something working perfectly well into a mess again and again? I am tired of waiting in line for the Emirates ID and now it is the visa renewal, license and other essential services. Why is it that we take a step forward and two steps back? Please ensure that we don't have to drag our spouses and kids into lining up!
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: January 08, 2009, 13:12

I was really uncomfortable standing in the queue for ten hours. I would like to draw the attention of the concerned authorities towards this problem.
Posted: January 08, 2009, 11:08

This is really disorganised, the administration system is very poor. The sudden notice is creating big problems for people. It is unbelievable that it is happening in such a nice city. We have to get the medical exam done within 14 days of arrival for the labour card for people who are coming on mission visas.
Abdul Majeed Eroth
Abu Dhabi,UAE
Posted: January 08, 2009, 10:27