MOH News
Dr. Khoja Declares: a Joint GCC Database for the E-Communication System of the Expatriates Program
29 January 2012
​His Excellency the Director-General of the Executive Board of the Health Ministers' Council for the GCC States, Prof. Dr. Tawfik bin Ahmed Khoja, has stated that the Electronic Communication System (also termed as: E-Communication System) of the Expatriates Program is meant to link the medical examination centers of expatriates to a joint database, under the supervision of the Executive Board. 
 
During the inauguration of the training workshop of the E-Communication System of the Expatriate Program in the GCC States, held in Riyadh on Sunday, Dr. Khoja went on to say that this approach embodies and signifies a tangible tendency embraced by our countries towards the adoption of state-of-the-art technologies, in pursuit of the unification and implementation of management systems used in the various departments and sections of such centers. It also seeks to take part in building the health database, and enhance the accuracy and confidentiality of data entry, in addition to achieving distributive justice among those in need of medical examination throughout all the centers certified by the Gulf Approved Medical Centers Association (GAMCA). The joint database takes as its target, besides, the rapidity of data transfer, and, accordingly, the rapidity of taking the proper action, as well as the reduction of paperwork and preservation of the environment.
 
According to Dr. Khoja, this step could be seen as a reflection of the great concern shown by the Health Ministers' Council for the GCC States, as well as its Executive Board, about ascertaining that the expatriates working in the GCC States are free from communicable diseases, given the enormous danger such diseases pose to all those in contact with the diseased persons, thus threatening the health and safety of Gulf societies. Among the objectives assigned to this system, in addition, is to ensure the fitness, convenience and compatibility of expatriates with the professional tasks they are assigned to undertake, and make sure that they are free from chronic diseases, which pose a heavy economic burden upon the shoulders of countries.
 
In order for this pivotal target to be attained, the 38th Conference of the Health Ministers' Council for the GCC States, held in January 1995 (Shaaban 1414H), issued Resolution No. 14, assigning the Executive Board to supervise the Expatriates Program. It followed that, in the 62nd Conference of the Health Ministers' Council for the GCC States, held in Kuwait, Resolution No. 9 was issued, stipulating the preparation of a plan a plan for achieving e-communication between the Executive Board, GAMCA Offices and certified centers.
 
Dr. Khoja added that the Executive Board has conducted a questionnaire covering all the medical examination centers of expatriates, with the aim to study the infrastructure of the information centers of these centers, so as to choose the best and most appropriate method of communication with the Executive Board. By studying and analyzing the result of the questionnaire, it has been found that the communication method with such centers would be quite different from the current method used to link the member states, owing to the geographical distance and economic capabilities they have. For its part, the Board has submitted a study and proposal aiming at the establishment of an e-portal for the examination centers of expatriates, linking these centers to GAMCA Offices and the GCC Ministries of Health.
 
Thanks to the support paid by the Health Ministers' Council for the GCC States for the Expatriates Program, Khoja continued, the Executive Board has extended its scope to cover 11 countries; out of which 7 countreis are in South East Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Philippines and Nepal), 3 countries in Africa (Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia), and one Arab country in Asia (Syria). The number of certified centers has amounted to 265 centers (subject to increase or decrease according to the addition or omission of centers). Statistic show that, in 2010, the number of expatriates examined in these centers was 2.035.789 expatriates, out of which 1.865.541 persons were medically fit, and 170.248 persons were unfit.
 
His Excellency the Director-General of the Executive Board of the Health Ministers' Council for the GCC States, Prof. Dr. Tawfik bin Ahmed Khoja, further affirmed that the Executive Board, in relentless pursuit of developing the performance of the Expatriate Program, has provided all the necessary technical, human and material capabilities to attain the assigned target, and fulfill the aspired to objective. These colossal efforts exerted by the Board have resulted in the accomplishment of the first phase of E-Communication System, thus linking expatriate health centers to GAMCA offices in labor-exporting countries to the GCC States and the embassies, consulates and ministries of health in the GCC States, as well as the Executive Board.
 
The E-Communication System is expected to take over a number of tasks, including: ascertaining the fulfillment of health requirements of the expatriates working in the GCC States, ensuring the availability of the necessary technical and human capabilities in medical examination centers, enforcement of irregularities (administrative, financial or technical), in accordance with the regulation of sanctions and fines, to all the centers non-complied with the Program's work systems, and unification of the features expatriate policy in all the GCC States (those relating to the expatriate worker and the medical examination center), as well as conducting technical supervision on the centers through the regular assessment visits. This is expected to play a significant role in reducing the recruitment of unfit expatriates in the GCC States. One of the tasks assigned to the Program, also, is to collect the fees from all expatriate health centers (examination fees, annual subscription fees, sanctions and fines).
 



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