Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Health Services Company has announced that effective January 1, the medical fitness tests for residency visas will be conducted exclusively at its Disease Prevention and Screening Centres, according to the Ambulatory Healthcare Services.

All expatriates in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region who apply for new or renew residence/employment visas are now required to get their medical fitness certificates from these centres as a pre-requisite.

These centres have been appointed as the sole authority to conduct this exercise by the Health Authority Abu Dhabi (Haad) and will conduct the medical fitness tests as per the Central Law introduced in 2008.

Hepatitis B

Medical fitness tests include X-Ray, vaccination against Hepatitis B for certain professions and a blood test for HIV/Aids, syphilis and hepatitis B.

"There's a central law governing medical check-up that was published in 2008 which says that certain people such as food handlers and domestic workers require vaccination for Hepatitis B and extra blood tests.

Pregnancy tests for female domestic workers will also be conducted," Dr Zainab Khazaal, the centre's Manager told Gulf News. The physicians at the centres have been involved in medical screening since its introduction in the country in early eighties. "We have been involved in the screening process since its inception.

"For that purpose we forsee a smooth visa screening process that will benefit the expatriate community residing in Abu Dhabi, Al Ain and the Western Region," said Khazaal. The required documentation for new applicants includes a photocopy of the individuals' passport visa; a passport copy and a medical request application form for those seeking visa renewal.

The applicant is charged Dh250 as medical test fee and a further Dh50 as immunisation cost at the DPSC. "Our screening procedures will be transparent, user friendly and will ensure accuracy," said Dr Salma Al Daheri, Head of the centre, Al Ain.