"Under the new policy, which will be implemented in coordination with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs and the UAE Immigration authorities, private health centres and institutions operating in the country will no longer be able to apply for work permit for doctors and technicians, unless they first obtain the approval of the Ministry of Health," Dr Ibrahim Ali Al Qadi, Director of the Private Medical Practice Department at the ministry told Khaleej Times yesterday.
He said the move aims to check the rampant phenomenon of illegal trading in employment visas in the private sector, where many violations involving new recruitment are committed by private health facilities.
Earlier, private medical facilities had to directly apply for an employment visa to the Ministry of Labour without referring their request also to the Ministry of Health (MoH).
"It has been noticed, of late, that some health centres apply for work permits for a large number of doctors and technicians irrespective of their actual manpower requirements. It thus appears that these centres are illegally trading in employment visas," asserted Dr Qadi.
He said from now on, private health institutions will not be able to recruit doctors or technicians unless the MoH has thoroughly evaluated the application.
"We are coordinating with various other agencies concerned at the Ministry of Labour to ensure no visa is issued in this category unless a prior approval has been obtained", he said.
Dr Qadi said, "The new measure implies that the authorities concerned will not issue visit visa for doctors and technicians unless their applications have been referred to and cleared by the MoH".
The MoH, he added, will make sure candidates on visit visas arrive days before the examinations date set by his department and that sponsors do not recruit them before they are licensed to do so.
This measure also aims to avert the exploitation of medical cadres and ensure their labour rights, said Dr Qadi, noting that many doctors and technicians who opt to take up jobs in the private sector often fall victim to unscrupulous sponsors.
"Hundreds of such incidents of victimisation have been recorded where medical candidates on a visit visa were illegally recruited and then deprived of their legal entitlements and other rights," said Dr Qadi. He said the new policy mechanisms will authorise the MOH to specify the professions of medical cadres and to check whether they comply with that mentioned in the labour card.
"We will coordinate with the Ministry of Labour to ensure that jobs mentioned in the labour card conform with the actual profession of these medical cadres," he said.
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