Qatar to reintroduce mandatory home medical check-up for expatriates

August 28, 2011

A long-pending proposal to reintroduce the mandatory medical check up for job seekers from different Asian and African countries before their arrival in Qatar has been cleared by the cabinet for implementation.

The Medical Commission and the Ministry of Interior will soon work out a mechanism to implement the proposal, a senior official from the commission said.

“It will be implemented soon since the Cabinet has now endorsed the proposal,” Ebrahim Al Shaar, director of the Medical Commission, said, quoted by Qatari daily The Peninsula.

The Supreme Council for Health (SCH) and the interior ministry had earlier said that the rule would apply to job seekers from 11 countries – India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Syria and Eritrea.

There are more than 200 medical centres in the 11 countries that are authorised to conduct the tests for a fee fixed at $50.

“We are working in collaboration with the interior ministry to develop a mechanism to implement the decision. We may use the online system for receiving the test results from the authorised medical centres. The ministry will issue the visas for the applicants based on the test results,” Al Shaar said. However, he said the procedures were not finalised.

The mandatory tests at the Medical Commission will continue even after the new system is implemented.

Currently every newcomer to Qatar must undergo the tests at the Medical Commission to detect contagious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, hepatitis B and hepatitis C.

The Ministry of Interior had earlier said that only those seeking a residence permit in the country would have to undergo the check-up.

Several Qatari businessmen and members of the Central Municipal Council (CMC) have reportedly welcomed the decision.

“It will help avoid the problems that the employers would suffer, in case a newly recruited worker fails the tests at the Medical Commission and is forced to go back to his country. Medical tests at the source countries can reduce such incidents,” Ali Al Afeefa, a Qatari businessman, said.

They urged the authorities to ensure that that the tests are properly conducted by the authorised medical centers in the countries of origin and that there is no tampering with the results.



About the author

Born August 3, 1960 in Monastir, Tunisia
Media career:
  • ABC News (Tunisia)
  • Bahrain Tribune
  • Gulf News
  • Bahrain Television News
Teaching career:
  • Monastir (Tunisia)
  • University of Bahrain
  • MA  Mass Communications, University of Leicester
  • BA  in English & US literature and studies, University of Tunis

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