New medical norms for expats from next year

ABU DHABI — An amended federal law on medical check-ups for expatriate labour force that ensures authenticity of medical fitness certificate, will be enacted from January next year, according to a senior health official.

By Nada S. Mussallam

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Published: Mon 9 Jul 2007, 8:41 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 3:03 AM

“The Ministry of Health (MoH) has revised and introduced changes to the existing federal law on foreign labour force medical check-ups to further control the process and ensure its efficacy, “ Dr Ali bin Shukur, Under-Secretary of the MoH, yesterday told Khaleej Times.

He said the amended law, which would be enforced in January 2008 would mention authorities entitled to conduct the medical tests, and specify needed technical and administrative conditions health facilities must obtain to carry out the required health examinations.

“This law has been revised and amended because it deals with a sensitive issue of examining expat labour force for infectious diseases. If all measures and procedures were not well put in place, this will open a gate for importing epidemics inside the country,” said Dr Shukur.

At present, expat labour force undergos medical tests for HIV/AIDS, hepatitis, tuberculosis and infectious diseases. The medical fitness certificate is a prerequisite for expats to get a visa.

Delineating areas covered by the amended law, the official said: “The law stipulates setting up a committee inside the MoH to oversee rules and regulations pertaining to medical check-ups with the aim of imposing stricter control on the whole process”. “The law involves local health authorities in the country to join hands in monitoring and regulating tests procedures across the country, and issuing authenticated medical fitness certificate, “ explained Dr Shukur.

Electronic system used in collecting fees levied for medical tests, is also revised under the amended law, he said. About whether the MoH will introduce new tests, the official replied: “We are not thinking for now to introducing new tests. Our aim is to develop the existing law in a way that better avert transmission of contagious diseases into the country.”

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