DOH orders closure of 8 medical clinics servicing Kuwait-bound OFWs
The Department of Health (DOH) ordered the closure of eight medical clinics which were exclusively accredited by Kuwait's Ministry of Health through the Winston Q8 Certifications Solutions agency, GMA News TV program "State of the Nation with Jessica Soho" reported on Friday.
The DOH issued the preventive suspension order against the clinics last March 9 due to a Congressional resolution which said that there was an agreement between Winston Q8 Certifications Solutions and Mawared Services, the agency that issued visas for Kuwait.
The resolution said the Mawared Services allegedly accepted medical certificates exclusively from Winston Q8 Certifications Solutions.
The DOH said the practice was against the law, pointing out that "no group or groups of medical clinics shall have a monopoly of exclusively conducting health examinations on migrant workers for certain receiving countries."
"Pwede sila mamili sa DOH-accredited, hindi 'yung accredited ng Kuwait... 'yun kasi ang nasa batas. Halimbawa, taga-Mindanao ka, may clinic doon sa Mindanao, accredited ng DOH... bat ka pa luluwas dito?" said DOH Spokesperson Dr. Eric Tayag said.
He added that the suspended clinics still needed to release the medical certificates of client Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).
"Kung natapos na kayong na-examine, may karapatan kayong kunin 'yung resulta kasi unang-una, binayaran niyo na 'yun," he said.
Around 800 OFWs were affected by the closures. — Anna Felicia Bajo/DVM, GMA News