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GCC plans new medical tests for hiring expats
April 2, 2015, 8:32 am

Executive Director of the Office of GCC Council of Health Ministers Dr Tawfiq Bin Khawjah disclosed the intention to add new medical tests while recruiting expatriate workers for GCC countries to attain an average of 2 percent reduction in the number of expatriates with infections, reports a local newspaper. According to the Director General of Public Authority for Manpower Jamal Al-Dosari, the new development coincides with the implementation of bank guarantee for new expatriate workers in private sector which the authority started Wednesday.

He disclosed the authority has decided that employers of the government projects, businessmen who are officially allowed to recruit workers and other activities that require monetary guarantee should pay KD250 per worker. He explained the three segments should pay guarantee to the authority through a letter from a local bank addressed to the concerned labor department to enable the authority to withdraw the money in full or part if the company fails or delays to repatriate workers registered on them after the expiration of contracts or due to dictates of the law.

As per the new tests, Bin Khawjah declared the concerned GCC committee stipulated the mechanism in 2012, but the GCC Ministers of Health decided to use it as means to reduce the number of expatriates infected by certain diseases. He said the council will soon approve the new examinations for specific chronic, psychological, and infectious diseases.

He included sound sight and mental health cases that require tests and hinted the council will soon raise fines on 510 accredited medical centers across the world for approving sick people. He added that expatriate workers with infectious diseases were about 25 percent of the total workers and the number later went down to 5 percent, covering about 2 million people. He noted the ministers are planning to reduce it to 3 percent to protect health of citizens and economies of the ministries.

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