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Disabled Bahrainis who struggle to get around and the elderly are
set to benefit from the new ‘house call’ scheme

'House calls' for elderly, disabled Bahrainis to be introduced

MANAMA, June 4, 2015

Home visits for elderly and disabled Bahrainis who struggle to get around and access government services are set to be introduced.

The pioneering new 'house call' scheme will see civil servants visiting the homes of eligible candidates on request and helping them with applications, permits and other official paperwork, said a report in the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.

A pilot for the scheme is ready to be rolled out across the Southern Governorate, with a special team already assigned to provide the door-to-door service.

Its members will be equipped with handheld computers and could even have roaming vans kitted out with laptops, printers and a satellite link to the municipal network, if Works, Municipalities and Urban Planning Affairs Minister Essam Khalaf authorises the request.

“This door-to-door service for the elderly and disabled in the Southern Governorate - the first area to implement it - will begin in the next few days as soon as the technical requirements are finalised,” said Southern Municipality director-general Assem Abdullatif.

“All municipal services will be provided by a specialised team that will visit eligible citizens once a week, or more if required, depending on the documents and information that is needed.

Procedures

“Medical conditions can prevent disabled people and the elderly from accessing government services, so we have to go to them.

“We intend to provide our services in a speedy, convenient and efficient manner and simplify procedures so that it isn't a hassle.”

Southern Municipal Council chairman Ahmed Al Ansari, one of the original driving forces behind the idea, said that the scheme would help make eligible citizens' lives easier.

“The physically disabled often have to be driven places by their relatives and some must use a wheelchair if they are to travel any distance,” he said.

“Sometimes they are not even able to find somewhere to park, because all spaces allocated for the disabled are always occupied by non-disabled people.

“Then, once inside a government facility, they have to move around between different offices to get things checked and stamped - or even visit two buildings that are far away from each other, which again requires transportation.”

Al Ansari said that the new door-to-door service would have the added benefit of cutting down on the time it takes to process documents - as a municipal official will already be on hand to provide guidance.

“In cases where required documents are missing or more clarification is required, a phone call can be made by the official right then and there - or they can visit the disabled person's home, workplace or any convenient location at a later date,” he said.

“The aim will be to provide services instantaneously, but sometimes there will be a requirement to go back to the concerned departments at the municipality.

“That is why we have requested vans kitted out with laptops, printers and a connection to the municipal network.

“This would make it easier for the municipal teams as they could avoid going back and forth between the office and people's homes - and this is an idea that is awaiting approval from the ministry.

“However, orders have already been placed for handheld devices similar to those used by LMRA inspectors - those should be available to the municipal teams within the next six months.” - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | Home | Disabled | Visit | introduce | Elderly |

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