Thursday, November 24, 2011

Day 4, Saturday, 19th Nov. 2011: Visit to the Muderiya and Tests

Today, the process of my assimilation into the Saudi health-care system began with earnest. After I woke up, I had a quick cup of tea, and a small piece of bread with it. I proceeded to hire a dabbab to go to the Muderiya Saha, or the Health Directorate of the Ministry of Health, Saudi Arabia. The ride was comfortable, with Dr. Raid in company, as he was called there to submit his investigation reports and to get further directions on his posting. I submitted my passport and the large file I had brought from my agent's office in New Delhi. One of the clerical workers there processed these papers, made several photo-copies, and also demanded the original degree certificates, which, unfortunately I hadn't brought with me, though they were with me at home. I think it was because of something Raid said, because he overlooked this mistake of mine and simply filed away the photocopies of the various certificates after making me sign that I had received back the originals.

He then prepared a sheet of tests and gave it to me and asked me to proceed to King Faisal Hospital for doing the tests. Before that, I had to photocopy some more documents, and then, I was entering the King Faisal Hospital, with Dr. Raid accompanying me. We parted inside, and while he went to get his reports, I went in to get my tests done. First, I went in for the pathology tests including the viral antigen detection tests, then to radiology for an X-ray of the chest, and finally, a urine test for detection of Narcotic substances (this was done in a different building, about 200 meters away). After all these tests were done, Raid and I met again. He said he had his reports and he had to go to the Muderiya again to submit his results. We parted, and I returned to Ta'if, where I spent the afternoon doing much the same things I did on Day 3, and I advise my readers to check out the entry previous to this. At the same time, I also went to the STC office on Shubra Road to buy a internet connect USB called the Quick Net for 100 SR. The young, rather obese man at the counter was unable to tell me how much pre-charged the card was in terms of GB of surfing per validity. According to him, it was a 2 GB device valid for one month. I later discovered that it was, in fact, a 5 GB device. 

I had a lunch of two Kerala parathas with a mixed veg. curry at the Thara, and visited the calling cabins for a call to India, and a call to a friend in the Gulf to co-ordinate the transfer of funds from his account to me via Western Union Money Transfer (WUMT). He agreed immediately and said that the transfer would be effected the same evening, so would I please check in the evening.

Happy to have received a positive response from him, I roamed around the area, visiting the Children's Hospital too and relating the news to Dr. Zahid. In the evening, after the call came from my would-be benefactor, I went to the Enjaz WUMT and asked to be allowed to withdraw the cash. They checked my passport and said I would have to go to the Samba Bank "Quick Cash" office nearby. When I reached the latter, I was clearly told that the bank would not release the cash to me as I did not have a work permit (Iqama). The only option, he said, was to change the name of the beneficiary to that of a person who was also in Saudi Arabia, and who had an Iqama. It would have to be someone I could trust. When I called my benefactor and told him the turn events had taken, he told me he would go back to the bank's office the next day and see what had to be done.

Dejected, and a little worried, I surfed the net for some time outside the office of STC, and went back to my accommodation around half past nine p.m. 

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