Resilience needed to become chauffeur

Ever wonder how taxi drivers qualify for their work licenses? The process requires resilience and perseverance on the part of chauffeur license applicants. Photo: Wilmer Joel.

HILARY HOSIA

Navigating the hospital and police system is not for the weak of mind or body. In layman’s terms, the current system is a maze.

Say a person is trying to get chauffeur license to become a taxi driver. The person would need a hospital clearance card given to chauffeurs and food vendors. Initially, the person visits the hospital at the medical records section, let’s say on a Monday. At medical records, he registers in the system and a pays the $8 fee.

From there, the person goes to the public health examination room in the out patient area, typically the far right room at the end, room five. Here the person receives the TB test “shot” in the arm and is instructed to visit the laboratory. Blood sample will be drawn and the person would require to provide a stool sample.

Depending on the situation, the person has the option to return home to create said sample and drop it off at the lab later in the same. The person would then go home with the knowledge that they need to return Wednesday to the TB clinic so the test result can be “read” by health staff. Also, again depending on the situation, the person might be directed to get x-ray the same day. According to hospital policy, radiology department can only accommodate 20 vendor/chauffeur clearances per day due to equipment and staff capacity.

Wednesday arrives and the person is checked at the TB clinic for the TB shot and x-ray picture, if the latter was done. Once cleared, the person is told to revisit the public health examination office.

Now, depending on the situation, the person is able to check all results. If not, they are told to return Friday.

Friday comes, the person revisits the public health staff and depending on the situation, all paperwork is cleared and will be sent to the second floor office for certification and signing from Dr. Frank Underwood.

Once signed, the person can pick up card the same day or ideally, is told to return Monday to get the card.

Monday comes, and, depending on the situation, they will be given the card if he displays the receipt from the $8 paid upon initial visit. From out interviews, receipts are frequently lost during the many days it takes to process the clearance.

If the applicant cannot locate his receipt, which is likely the case, the person needs to muster another $8 to get a new receipt printed. Now, depending on the situation and the cashier at the front, the receipt can be retrieved easily without cost, since the hospital is using a computerized system. But we found this depends on the different cashiers. If a cashier is not in high spirits, it will cost the applicant another $8 to obtain a new receipt in order to gain release of his clearance card.

The receipt is needed to accompany the complete paper work before Public Health Director Dr. Frank Underwood signs.

In short, you’ll get your chauffeur hospital card eight taxi round trips later and after hours of navigating the hospital and waiting in line for the x-ray or other services.

Now, armed with the hospital clearance card, the applicant can advance to the next stage in the process: The police station. Candidate driver would provide the hospital card and will be instructed to make payment at the Ministry of Finance building across town in Delap. The police station is at Uliga. The police hand the applicant a form indicating the amount to be paid at Finance is $10.

After making payment at Finance, the person drops the receipt from Finance with the national police office in Uliga as proof of the transaction.

Even after making the payment, the applicant may have to wait for the right authority to be available to sign the chauffeur license.

The applicant can achieve their chauffeur license within two or three visits to the police station, give or take a visit.

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