Starting in February, the government will require expats from 11 Asian and African countries to undergo medical testing in their home countries before obtaining visas to work in Qatar.
Around 200 medical centers are available to conduct the tests for job seekers in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Syria and Eritrea.
Officials say the move, which has been in the works for several years, will help stem the spread of contagious diseases in Qatar and save those who fail the tests the hassle of being deported.
But those who undergo the mandatory testing will still face another round of medical tests when they arrive in Qatar.
The Peninsula reports:
Even after the tests are introduced in the source countries, the Medical Commission will continue to conduct the check up for newly recruited workers, to doubly assure that no person with contagious diseases get a residence status in Qatar.
The mandatory tests focus on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C.
Earlier this month, a South African watchdog group announced plans to file a lawsuit against Qatar and Al Jazeera for its treatment of a senior editor who underwent medical testing, was found to be HIV positive, was arrested and then deported.
The new policy would not apply for South Africans, but perhaps may prevent other such incidences from occurring.
Still, one trip to the Medical Commission is more than enough for most people!
What do you think? Would this new policy help more people than it inconveniences?