New health testing scheme for expats seeking work permits for Bahrain

by Ray Clancy on January 9, 2015

A new health testing scheme for private sector expat employees has been launched in the Middle Eastern kingdom of Bahrain.

Officials from the Ministry of Health said it will regulate basic healthcare for employees and confirm they are fit before being granted a work permit.

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Bahrain’s health ministry says companies who don’t pay the fees will not be issued work permits for employees

Under the new ruling, each private company with less than 50 employees must pay an annual fee for the government-provided medical services of $189 per expat employee on renewing work permits at the Labour Market Regulatory Authority.

Private sector firms also have to pay $58 per Bahraini employee each year, with the levied sum be incorporated into the overall social insurance cost.

Private sector companies with more than 50 employees have the option of registering with the ministry and paying the fee, launching their own health insurance plan or opening clinics which operate round the clock.

The ministry said that companies who do not pay the fees will not be issued with work permits for workers.

Other recent health changes mean that new expats need to get a health check before being granted a work permit, which has to be done at an approved health centre in their own country before they travel to Bahrain.

The medical examination is also obligatory for employees who are already working in Bahrain and resigned from their job to join another employer. Once the health checks are complete, a certificate is issued to confirm the person is fit for work.

The pre-employment medical tests include a general medical examination, chest X-ray and blood test for HIV, Hepatitis-B and venereal disease and specific tests for certain occupation groups such as barbers, domestic and food industry workers.

 

 

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