Medical check ups now compulsory for expats in Bahrain

Published:  28 Dec at 6 PM
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As part of comprehensive new plans proposed in order to improve the country’s healthcare provision, expats will now be required to undergo mandatory health check-ups.

The overall scheme as announced last week in a new health bill is expected to enhance the roles of local insurance companies and healthcare providers. At present, only expats employed in specific sectors are forced to have health checks, but the new rule expands mandatory checks to all expats renewing their residency permits.

As part of the sweeping healthcare changes, health insurance for expat workers must now be provided by employers, whilst Bahraini citizens’ insurance will be provided by the National Health Insurance Scheme. According to the Gulf Daily News, citizens will have three options ranging from basic government heathcare provider packages through part-payment private healthcare coverage to full private health insurance.

Meanwhile, expats working in Qatar and wishing to change jobs will now be restricted to companies already holding visas covering the same gender, profession and nationality of the applicant. The new rule is included in a Ministry notice along with other conditions, and is subject to a clarification stating a vacancy must already be available before a change of jobs takes place.

The new regulations are only applicable to private sector jobs in Qatar, and expats on fixed term contracts wishing to change jobs will have to submit a notice 30 days before expiry of their contract. Those on open-ended contracts must hold jobs for five years before a change is permitted, and give between 30 and 60 days notice dependent on years worked.

According to the Filipino Times, a ban on workers over 60 years of age is also to be enforced and will forbid the renewal of existing contracts for workers of that age or older. The decision also includes cancellation of residency permits and enforces mandatory exit from the country once the age of 60 is reached. Ministry rationale for enforcing the law in both the public and private sectors is that opportunities for recruiting young talent will be enhanced.
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