Expats arriving to work in Bahrain who are required to undergo mandatory medical test to prevent the spread of life threatening diseases such as hepatitis and tuberculosis, can now choose where they are done.
The Ministry of Health has named 12 private hospitals and clinics that have been authorised to carry out the medical tests to ease pressure on the one hospital previously undertaking the tests leading to long delays.
Although most expat workers arriving in the country usually undergo a medical check-up before arriving in the country, they must also be checked again on arrival as a condition of residency.
Workers arriving at Bahrain International Airport will receive an appointment at the Al Razi Health Centre in Naim to undergo pre-employment tests but now have the option of switching to any of the 12 medical facilities prior to their appointment date.
After the check-up people need to take their medical certificate to a health centre which sends it on to the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) to complete the employment procedures. This needs to be done before a residence permit can be issued.
The approved clinics are the 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 and 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,’ the Health Ministry said in a statement.
The pre-employment medical tests include general medical examination, chest X-ray and blood test for HIV, Hepatitis-B and VDRL, a 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, said officials.
Indians are the biggest group of foreign workers in Bahrain at 192,500 followed by Bangladeshis at 71,915, Pakistanis at 32,443, Filipinos at 21,661, and Egyptians at 5,254.