Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Job seekers need home country health certificate

Asma Ali Zain

9 March 2010, 7:12 AM
Expatriates seeking employment here will soon have to bring a medical fitness certificate issued by approved centres in their home country.
This is the new health procedures being formulated by the Dubai Health Authority.
The new regulation, expected by year-end, will include a general health examination for both communicable and non-communicable diseases including diabetes.
The certificate will be issued by DHA-approved health centres abroad and apply to expatriates seeking work permit in Dubai . However, a decision is yet to be taken on whether the locally done medical fitness test will cease.
Decision is also awaited on whether the rule will apply to a specific category of workforce and nationality or for all, a senior health official said on Monday.
“This is for the benefit of both parties — the employer and employee,” Dr Ali Al Marzooqi, Director of Health and Safety of DHA, told Khaleej Times.
“We have seen cases where people have sold their entire property back home to come to Dubai and have not been able to work here because of ill health,” he said.
“It will be up to the employer to decide if he wants to hire an employee despite his medical condition,” he said. “It does not make sense having truck drivers with eyesight problems and people with hearing loss in a job where they are required to listen.”
For communicable diseases such as tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS, the authority will order a local confirmatory test. Test centres will be monitored by the authority and will be penalised if found to be faking certificates.
“Not every centre will be able to issue a certificate since we understand that the authority can be misused,” said Dr Al Marzooqi. “We are putting a system in place.”
The DHA is also reviewing regulations governing communicable diseases including TB and HIV/AIDS. Plans are already on to treat and allow tuberculosis patients to stay in the country provided they follow a strict treatment regimen.
The current federal law states that people with tuberculosis be treated and sent back to their home countries. “A final decision in this regard will be taken by July,” he said.

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