Soon, expats will be able to buy their way out of a trip to the Medical Commission – but it won’t be cheap!
Traditionally, newbies are Qatar are required to undergo medical testing, which entails waiting in long lines to be poked for a blood draw and X-rayed topless at the Medical Commission.
Since everybody has to do it (some of us more than once, depending on visa stuff), it’s kind of been a great equalizing experience in Qatar.
But starting next month, the process will become less treacherous for “certain categories” of expats entering Qatar, who can elect to do the testing at three private hospitals – Al Ahli, Al Emadi and Doha Clinic.
The Peninsula reports:
The fee for the check up at the Medical Commission – QR100- remains unchanged and no decision had been taken until now to raise the charges, according to Dr Ibrahim Al Shaar, director of the Medical Commission. The check up at the private hospitals will be limited to certain categories of foreigners such as doctors, engineers, lawyers, judges, university teachers and consultants.
“We have reached an agreement with the three hospitals to charge a unified fee for the check up, which will vary from QR400 to QR1,000 depending on the nature of the tests,” Al Shaar said in a news conference yesterday.
HIV tests and x-ray are compulsory for all categories of workers, while some categories require additional tests for tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C. The charges for each test will be similar in all the three hospitals, explained Al Shaar.
If the experiment is successful, the commission will expand testing to other hospitals. No one is required to go to the private hospital, and the commission is working on ways to improve the overcrowding and delays that currently exist, Al Shaar said.
What do you guys think? Would you pay to go to the private hospitals?
To me, the convenience seems irresistibile, but the option does once again draw a line between the haves and the have-nots.