The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.
Iman Abdullah Al Ali, Staff Reporter
Parents feel that the costs of COVID-19 PCR tests in private hospitals are still high, ranging from 100 to Dhs150, which was confirmed by private hospitals, and these fees are considered unaffordable for families with more than one child in the school stage.
Many parents had to go to the private sector to conduct the examination in light of the severe crowding in the government sector, where it is necessary to wait for more than an hour to conduct the examination.
It was learnt that there were large gatherings in the health centres, which might spread the virus infection.
The parents presented a proposal to provide platforms for examining of COVID-19 in schools, to facilitate students and parents, and settle the issue, to prevent unjustified crowding, and to reduce pressure on government health centers.
The Ministry of Health and Community Protection announced the reduction and standardisation of the cost for undergoing the laboratory examination (PCR) in all medical facilities at the state level, to Dhs50. Health centres and laboratories must show the results of the examinations within 24 hours of conducting the examination.
This came with the aim of reducing the costs of examinations for society, and ensuring the continuity of periodic examinations by individuals.
The Ministry also confirmed that it will monitor the compliance of health facilities with this decision, and will work with all competent health authorities, to ensure that all examination services are provided in accordance with the specified controls.
Muhammad Al-Hammadi, an employee, confirmed that private hospitals still provide coronavirus tests at high fees of Dhs150, and the reduction decision imposed by health authorities such as the Ministry of Health and Community Protection did not affect them.
"As a result of the large crowding in front of government health centres near residential areas, we are forced to go to private centres.
"Actually, the price is high, especially since we will be required to conduct a monthly examination for those under the age of 12, and every two weeks for the older ones."
He said, “It is better for the government to provide health cadres to go to schools in an organised manner, and conduct examinations for students, and the process will be more organised, and with less efforts on the ministry and health authorities.”
“It will be less of a burden on students as a result of waiting for hours in front of health centres for a procedure.”
Coronavirus tests should be done periodically, and the process is organised so that the staff goes to a different school every day, and they will be able to cover all schools throughout the month, by forming more than one medical team according to the needs of each emirate.
Examination in schools
Muhammad Al-Banna, an employee, agreed, as he finds that providing examinations in schools is the best solution, in light of the health authorities monitoring the negatives of thousands of students heading to health centres to conduct a corona examination at the same time, and parents monitoring severe crowding in front of these health centres.
He said that the costs of corona examinations are still high, ranging between Dhs100 to 150, and these fees constitute a burden on the guardian who has five children.
Fatima Abdullah confirmed that the crowd was huge in front of the health centres, and it took more than two hours to examine the children.
She said: We suggest providing the examination in the school, so that the Ministry of Health and Community Protection and local health authorities provide medical teams that go to schools to examine the vaccinated and unvaccinated students, at the time it deems appropriate, and manage the process in an orderly manner in proportion to it, and with the regulations set by the "Crisis and Emergency Management.”
Empowering the educational sector
Earlier, the Department of Education and Knowledge in Abu Dhabi announced the launch of a strategic initiative in cooperation with the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi to provide a screening examination for the COVID-19 virus infection for students, teachers and school workers, where these individuals can conduct periodic examinations in their schools without the need to go to external centres.
The department’s cooperation with the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi comes with the aim of facilitating periodic examinations for students, teachers and school workers, and enhancing the efficiency of health and safety operations in schools.
This initiative contributes to relieving pressure on parents and external examination centres in the emirate.
The provision of examination in schools ensures the possibility of students or staff being able to conduct it in a timely manner, thus enabling the entire education sector to continue its operations efficiently.
All residents are advised to conduct a CIVID-19 PCR test before flying to the UAE.
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Regardless of the age group or vaccination status, the updated procedures require all students of private schools and Charter School, including students of determination, to submit a negative test result with a validity period of no more than 14 days to be able to enter school on the first day of the new school year. The same procedures apply to teachers, administrators and third-party contractors.
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