UAE | Health

Medical tests in home countries must for expats

Expatriates will be re-tested in the UAE to ensure authenticity

  • By Mahmood Saberi, Senior Reporter
  • Published: 00:00 May 2, 2011
  • Gulf News

Long wait
  • Image Credit: Francois Nel/Gulf News
  • Residency and work visa applicants wait for their turn at the Satwa medical fitness centre for their medical tests.

Dubai: UAE Sunday announced that expatriate workers coming to work in the Emirates will have to first get their medical tests done in their home countries.

But to make sure that job-seekers do not try to beat the system and show fake medical test results, the new expatriates will also be re-tested here to see the test results are in order.

The new system was announced Sunday after a Ministerial Service Council's meeting was chaired by Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Presidential Affairs. The Council has instructed the Ministry of Health to issue the necessary bylaws to implement the new system.

No Ministry of Health or Dubai Health Authority official was available for comment on the new system at the time of going to print.

The Health Council had been debating this issue of tests for migrant workers for some time as the check-up in the home countries would stop many workers from developing countries bringing in deadly communicable diseases into the country.

Anyone coming to work and live in the UAE has to get a check-up done to see if he or she is free from HIV/Aids, syphilis and pulmonary TB. A pregnancy test has to be done for someone coming to work as a housemaid or a nanny.

Medical experts said the new system will ease the situation at the designated medical clinics which usually have long lines of people waiting for hours to get the tests done. In Dubai, the municipal medical test clinic was closed recently and the huge spill-over is frequently seen at the Dubai Health Authority (DHA) clinics, specially in Deira and Satwa. The DHA made a surprise visit to the Satwa clinic after Gulf News reported a near breakdown in services recently.

The UAE also has to bear huge expenses for those coming in with communicable diseases as they are first treated and then deported.

It was recently decided to scrap tests for hepatitis C.

Besides nannies and housemaids, the other categories of new workers who are required to test for hepatitis B and HIV/Aids are kindergarten school employees, employees at barber shops, health clubs and restaurants. Those found infected will be deported.

— with inputs from WAM

Comments (32)

  1. Added 17:55 May 3, 2011

    A person should not be exposed to radiation (chest x-ray) too often. If a second medical test will be done again in the UAE, each expat will be over exposed to radiation if their first test was done just weeks before departure. I hope UAE should think of how radiation over exposure could be avoided.

    Reg Cucal, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 10:48 May 3, 2011

    How this will make the system better? Even now if you are going to work for a hotel or a nanny you need to have some medical tests done before getting your visa and ticket. a hotel will not make a visa before you get this test done. After all you will be tested again here. So where is the change???This will not change anything we will be still doing the same thing.

    Nadia, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 09:38 May 3, 2011

    Its unfair because it is not only time and money spending unnecessarily, but another headache for those who are presently working here and still not gone to their homecountry! or for such restrictions the expats should go back to home and get medical check up!! if the health authority is doing the same there is no need to get it done from the home country of expats,for the newcomers here in UAE its ok! and this should be cleared by MOH.

    manohar, Dubai, India

  4. Added 04:52 May 3, 2011

    What about those who suffered from PTb previously and were treated in their home country and were found fit to travel for employment when medical tests were done prior to arriving in UAE. UAE still considers treated persons with PTb lung scars which are detected in medical xrays as infectious persons. How will the new system help such people?

    Omar, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 22:14 May 2, 2011

    What? A re-test in Dubai? That defeats the purpose of de-clogging the testing centres here! I'm in favour of the idea to have authorised health centres or hospitals around the world to undertake the tests. But if they allow the tests to be done in other countries, there should no longer be a re-test or second test in Dubai. The idea is not only time-wasting, but expensive! Please spare us from more hassles.

    daisy, dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 21:08 May 2, 2011

    Since Pulmonary TB is common in the Philippines, the infected persons undergo the required treatment in the Phlippines. Prior to arriving in the UAE, all filipinos coming on employent visa have to undergo medical tests and if found fit (even if the person has suffered from PTB and was treated), but on coming to UAE are rendered medically unfit on doing the XRAY test due to the lung scar. So how does this new system help such people?

    Richeh, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 18:52 May 2, 2011

    This is for sure a good move although there should be a better amicable way to curb the repeated expense on the medical test twice. The test ensures health safety in the country and must be for sure introduced. Many of the workers rarely undergo any health check ups in their home country not knowing of the slow disease killing them and affecting others. In my opinoin, medical certificate from home country's govt health centre can save little money and it is the employer who is entitled to pay it...not the workers

    Anjali B Ramchandani, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 18:24 May 2, 2011

    there are lot of private medical centers and hospital are in available in UAE, just allow them to take medical test.

    smile, dubai, India

  9. Added 17:57 May 2, 2011

    For those who didn't understand the purpose...is that many people's diseases will be found out in their home country...therefore avoid them from coming to the country...so only healthy people will make it here...the retesting is a security to catch liars and fraudsters...hope you all understand !!!

    Ano Nimous, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  10. Added 17:32 May 2, 2011

    In our country agent and doctors will take advantage of this.And will make good money from us.Pls do test here only witch is good for everybody.thnaks.

    Usman bade., dubai., India

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