Bahrain private hospitals to screen expat workers
Manama, September 26, 2012
Authorities have designated 12 private hospitals and clinics to conduct mandatory medical tests on expatriate workers coming into Bahrain in a bid to prevent the spread of life-threatening diseases.
The move by the Health Ministry aims to reduce pressure on Al Razi Health Centre in Naim, which receives about 500 workers daily to undergo pre-employment tests.
Under the decision, new workers arriving at Bahrain International Airport will still receive an appointment at Al Razi, but they will have the option of visiting any of the 12 medical facilities prior to their appointment date.
However, after completing the check-up, the workers would still have to present the medical certificate to the health centre, which would then automatically send it to the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) to complete the employment procedures after which a residence permit would be issued.
The LMRA yesterday posted on its website the list of licensed private hospitals and clinics, which are International Hospital of Bahrain, American Mission Hospital, Awali Hospital, Ibn Al Nafees Hospital, Shifa Al Jazeera Medical Centre, Bahrain Specialist Hospital, Al Hilal Hospital, Kims Medical Centre, GPIC Clinic, Asry Medical Services, Garmco Clinic and Gulf Air Clinic.
"The Health Ministry has approved the private hospitals/clinics for health checks in Bahrain. For those who complete the health check in these private (medical facilities), the employer has to take the health certificate to Al Razi Health Centre, which will send it to the LMRA electronically," it said.
It is understood that all expatriate workers who apply for jobs in Bahrain are required to undergo a check-up before arriving in the country, but they also have to pass a medical examination before being issued a residence permit.
The pre-employment medical tests include general medical examination, chest X-ray and blood test for HIV, Hepatitis-B and VDRL (Venereal Disease Research Laboratory test for syphilis) and tests for certain occupation groups such as barbers, domestic and culinary workers.
Workers who fail these tests will not receive a work visa and will have to leave Bahrain.
Our sister newspaper, the Gulf Daily News, reported on March 15 that foreign workers registered with the LMRA have totalled 371,183, according to the latest figures.
Indians form the largest working community registered with the LMRA expat management system with 192,500, followed by Bangladeshis, 71,915, and Pakistanis, 32,443.
Other sizeable populations include 21,661 Filipinos, 16,294 Nepalis, 6,470 Egyptians and 5,254 Sri Lankans. – TradeArabia News Service