Why these Dubai drivers can no longer ‘hide’ diabetes, blood pressure treatment

Occupational health permits to drivers of heavy trucks, buses and taxis will state treatment duration online. (File)

The Licensing Agency, Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), has recently introduced a new condition whereby the approved hospitals and medical clinics authorised to issue occupational health permits to drivers of heavy trucks, buses and taxis are obliged to post treatment duration online for these driving permits.

This requirement has become mandatory at the time a drivers are subjected to fitness tests.

The procedure will thus enhance the standards of road safety and minimise the onset of illness-related accidents.

“Obliging hospitals to specify the treatment period and the type of treatment is extremely important prior to the issuance of occupational permits to drivers of heavy trucks, buses and taxis, which in turn consolidates the governance systems through setting out procedural controls for the medical test,” said Jamal Assada, Director of Drivers Testing, RTA Licensing Agency.

Accordingly, occupational drivers suffering certain illnesses are obliged to take the prescribed medical treatment before appearing for retesting in order to ensure a safe driving practice for the driver, road users and roads.

“Tests are conducted through a number of hospitals and clinics all over Dubai carefully selected at top class standards in order to deliver excellent customer or medical services.

“Examples of such services include the strict compliance with the booked visit times, the service hours, the area of the waiting lounge, and the distribution of these clinics in various districts of Dubai.

Names of these hospitals and clinics are listed in RTA website (www.rta.ae), and can also be provided through communication with the Call Center (8009090),” explained Assada.

Medical checkups include measuring diabetes and blood pressure, and detecting various eyesight-related ailments that constitute a realistic driving hazard.

Adopting the British Medical Standards a model for the local standards ranks the medical testing system in Dubai at par with the European Standards; which are among the best in the industry.

About 114,000 drivers have been tested in Dubai from Q4 of 2013 to mid-2016, resulting in suspending more than 1,400 driver license holders.

Stating the type and duration of treatment in the doctor’s prescription will generate safe results towards ensuring a sound driving environment.

“This requirement is particularly relevant following the introduction of the unified online system comprising all procedural matters starting from medical tests, test results up to the final issuance of the occupational permit,” he further added.

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