The Supreme Council of Health (SCH) has issued a stern warning to healthcare facilities in Qatar that have failed to install CCTV cameras – something they have been legally required to do for nearly three years.
The law governing the use of the cameras was passed in 2011, and specifies which organizations in Qatar are expected to operate 24-hour video surveillance. Last June, the SCH issued a circular notifying all healthcare facilities in the country that they were expected to comply with the regulations within three months.
However, despite a threat to “halt re-licensing” if the facilities failed to do so, the SCH has now issued another circular clarifying the rules, suggesting that many facilities have resisted fitting the cameras.
Facilities which the SCH said are required to install CCTV with immediate effect include general medical and dental clinics, private and government hospitals, pharmacies inside medical complexes, hospital laboratories, medicine stores, health and beauty clinics, and physiotherapy, ultrasound and radiology clinics.
The SCH memo also lists some healthcare facilities that are exempted from the law – including pharmacies, optical shops, medical equipment shops, medical research centers, nursing services agencies, and first-aid units inside schools and companies.
The centers required to add the cameras should contact the Ministry of Interior’s Security Systems Department for technical specifications, and for approval of camera locations, the memo said.
In the past, healthcare professionals in Qatar have called for more security measures to protect them from potentially violent attacks.
In July 2012, for example, an Indian doctor at Hamad Hospital was assaulted by several patients. At the time, Hamad Medical Corp. (HMC) said it was setting up a committee to improve security within the hospital, and staffers told Doha News that it was considering installing CCTV cameras inside the building.
According to the employees, there were no cameras at the time of the attack due to concerns about privacy.