(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) While majority of the UAE residents are enjoying the best out of the long Eid weekend, some devoted people have skipped the merrymaking and opted to work and serve during the holidays.
Dr Hassan Said Othman Bradr, consultant paediatric intensivist at Zulekha Hospital Sharjah, has elected not to swap his stethoscope for a vacation. He has been on hospital duty since Sunday and has handled around 45 medical cases in the past two days.
He told Khaleej Times: "While most residents are busy celebrating the Eid festivals, we have to be ready for any kind of emergency like gastroenteritis or road accidents, among other emergency cases. Most people end up eating too much and sometimes this could have impact on their health too."
As much as doctors, nurses and other hospital staff would like to spend the holidays with their families and friends. But they are duty-bound to ensure that essential health services are not affected.
Dr Mustafa Saif, head of emergency department at Aster Hospital-Mankhool, said:
"The ER (emergency room) is a totally different commitment and a responsibility as we get patients round the clock. The usual cases are either medical or surgical. The call of duty takes top priority for us. In last two days, we have handled around 150-200 patients with almost 9-10 doctors on call."
Careful planning and working in shifts help the medical staff perform their duties.
Long-time Dubai resident Sindhu Susan Mathew, who is also the clinical nurse educator at Medcare Women and Children Hospital, said: "Over the period of time, we have learned to plan well in advance to meet any kind of situation during holidays.
The most common cases aregastroenteritis, injuries, paediatric and obstetric emergencies. So we do plan in terms of manpower and other resources to face any challenges that could emerge particularly during holidays."
Earlier, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (Mohap) had announced that health centres across the country have completed preparatory procedures and are ready to receive patients during Eid.
Dr Hussein Abdel Rahman Al Rand, Mohap under-secretary for health centres and clinics, said that they have taken into account that working hours during Eid holidays meet the need of all residents.
Officials and staff of diplomatic missions also maintain a quick response team, even during holidays.
Philippine Labour Attach to Dubai and Northern Emirates Felicitas Bay, said: "The Philippine Overseas Labor Office Dubai (Polo-Dubai) has a 24-hour hotline service to answer emergency queries and respond to urgent situations.
"Moreover, the mobile number of frontline and case officers are available even on holidays. A duty officer stays at Polo to ensure that the needs of the sheltered women are attended to. We are at the beck and call of overseas Filipino workers, even on holidays," she added.
Consul-General Paul Raymund Cortes also said that the "Philippine Consulate-General in Dubai, like other Philippine foreign service posts, operates on a 24/7 basis.
"Our offices may be closed but our emergency hotlines are operational every single day every single hour for our nationals in distress. Our Facebook page and website threads are open to everyone, including our emergency avenues," he added.
Some staff at the Dubai Municipality have also been working during the holidays to make sure that residents can enjoy the fun activities at parks, beaches and other family destinations. The supervisory staff are available to receive complaints through the Municipality Call Centre 800900 as well as its mobile app.
Over in Abu Dhabi, Tadweer (Abu Dhabi Waste Management Centre) had developed an integrated action plan to ensure the cleanliness of the Capital.
Dr Salem Al Kaabi, Tadweer general manager, said: "To meet the increased demand for our services, we have deployed a larger number of cleaners in congested areas and put our emergency teams on high alert throughout the Eid holidays."
Staff have maintained the aesthetic appeal and cleaned the interiors and exteriors of mosques. In fact, 20 workers have been carrying out daily cleaning at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi while more than 600 cleaners cover the entire Capital.