Abuse of system sees stoppage of one-year permits for medical techs

DUBAI — The UAE Ministry of Health has stopped issuing temporary one-year permits to practice for medical technicians after several abuses of the system were committed by some private medical establishments, according to Dr Ibrahim Al Qadi, Director of the Private Medical Practice Department at the MoH.

By Hani M Bathish

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Published: Sun 3 Apr 2005, 9:36 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 6:58 PM

Dr Al Qadi told Khaleej Times that medical establishments were in the habit of hiring expatriate medical technicians and putting them to work on temporary one year permits, which only allows the technician to work while waiting to sit for the MoH evaluation exam. Instead of completing the licencing procedure and sitting for their exams, technicians continued to work on the temporary permits.

“At the end of the one year period when the temporary permit expires the medical establishment would let the technician go and hire a new technician, once again going through the same procedure, obtaining a temporary one-year permit but never following through with the evaluation procedures.

“The ministry introduced temporary permits to allow medical technicians to work on a temporary basis until they are given a date to sit for their evaluation exam, which can mean that a technician will have to wait from three to six months until the exam date for his particular speciality comes up,” Dr Al Qadi said.

He added that the Evaluation Office at the MoH, which sets the exam dates, does not fall under the Private Medical Practice Department and thus the department has no control over the exam dates. Dr Al Qadi stressed, however, that once the candidate sits for the exam the rest of the procedure takes barely two weeks, as there is an evaluation committee at the private medical practice department, which meets regularly.

“The only option open to medical establishments now is to bring new medical technicians on a visit visa on or near the exam date so the technician may sit for the exam shortly after arriving. Of course should the candidate not pass the exam he would have to wait until the next exam date,” Dr Al Qadi said.

He said that annually the MoH used to issue between 400 to 500 temporary permits, last year alone it issued 440 such permits for medical technicians, out of that figure 237 were permits for nursing technicians.

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