Dubai launches its first medical clinic for taxi drivers
With nearly 4,000 vehicles, working 24 hours a day, seven days a week, drivers in the UAE are working in an increased competitive market, with longer hours and an increased tourist market, affecting their long-term physical and mental wellbeing.
With this in mind, the Dubai Taxi Corporation (DTC) at the Road and Transport Authority (RTA) has launched, at its headquarters in Muhaisna, a medical clinic in cooperation with Life Line Co. It has become the first government clinic, which is now fully supportive of drivers in the Emirate, and will provide medical advice and preventive medical care to drivers, adopting high healthcare standards.
To ensure exceptional customer service and provide a strong, positive staff morale, Dr Yousef Mohammed Al Ali, CEO of Dubai Taxi Corporation has said, “This newly opened clinic is part of DTC’s strategy to broaden the scope of its services on offer to cab drivers and meet their needs. It also adds to the series of achievements made by the DTC towards enhancing the happiness and job satisfaction of its employees including drivers.”
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Delivering quality and excellence throughout its operations, “the clinic is fitted with all necessary resources to serve the medical and healthcare needs of all drivers including x-ray machines and a diagnostic laboratory. It has a team of medical professionals specialised in general medicine (GPs) as well as specialists in orthopaedics, ophthalmology, pulmonary & cardiac diseases, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and venereal diseases. It has a dedicated ward for critical conditions for lifting them in a fully equipped ambulance to the nearest hospital,” explained Al Ali.
“The Clinic has a hotline with the Dubai Health Authority to keep up-to-date with the developments of precautionary health measures. The Clinic opens daily from Saturday to Thursday, from 7 am to 11 pm, and on Fridays from 8 am to 8 pm. A plan is in place to open an affiliated pharmacy so that cabbies can easily obtain their prescribed medicines,” concluded the CEO of Dubai Taxi Corporation.
Advances in health "must ensure self-sovereign identity"
The UK government has announced that from September onwards COVID-19 vaccine passports will be necessary to gain entry into places with large crowds, such as nightclubs.
This has reignited the debate between those who believe having proof of vaccinations will enable people to gather in public places and travel safely, and those who view the digital certificates as an attack on personal freedom.
The arguments have increased in intensity since the recent announcement to drop COVID-19 restrictions in England, in a move to reopen the economy that has attracted fierce criticism both domestically and overseas.
Cross-party ministers are set to defy the government’s latest plans to introduce vaccine passports over civil liberties concerns. A number of MPs have already signed the Big Brother Watch declaration against “Covid status certification to deny individuals access to general services, businesses or jobs” in recent months.
However Mark Shaw, CEO of Tento Applied Sciences, says the Big Brother Watch campaign is based on false assumptions. “Big Brother Watch puts forward a compelling argument based around civil liberties, but some of the assumptions they make are simply incorrect” he says.
“For example, the BBW campaign claims that all Covid passes are discriminatory, counterproductive and would lead to British citizens having to share personal health information with anyone in authority, from bouncers to bosses. However, there are already privacy-first digital wallets that give individuals the freedom to store and share anonymised medical documents, work credentials and other types of documentation quickly, simply, and securely.
“I wholeheartedly agree that individuals should not be required to share their own personal health information with unknown third parties or with anyone in authority who demands it" Shaw adds. "But I strongly disagree with the suggestion that ‘events and businesses are either safe to open for everyone, or no one’. It creates a false dichotomy that either everyone is safe, or nobody is safe. If employers or event organisers don’t take action to properly manage workplace or venue safety, then they risk curtailing the safety and freedom of movement for the majority."
The subject of personal health data is under scrutiny in the UK at the moment, following controversial plans for the NHS to share patient data with third parties. These have been put on hold following public criticism.
Meanwhile a new report has found that the majority of the British public is willing to embrace digital healthcare tools such as apps and digital therapies prescribed by a trusted healthcare professional.
Shaw adds: “The vital point to make is this: innovations in health technology must ensure self-sovereign identity. This means the data held about an individual is owned by the individual and stored on their device. And, in the case of medical data, that data can be delivered from healthcare professionals to the device in an encrypted format, and the user chooses how they share their information."