Health automation move
Manama, June 22, 2007
All expats, except housemaids, who come to Bahrain for work are now being given CPR (Central Population Registry) numbers upon arrival at Bahrain International Airport.
They will also be given an appointment for a complete medical examination, Health Minister Dr Nada Haffadh said.
Dr Haffadh was speaking at the official launch of the Pre-Employment Health Automation Project at Manama's Al Razi Health Centre.
The project has been set up by the ministry in co-ordination with the Economic Development Board (EDB).
It was implemented on April 1 for expats working for the government, while all other expats are included from June 1.
Housemaids will continue to be dealt with at regular government health centres.
'Expatriates landing in the country now report to the Al Razi Health Centre at the appointed time and date and are given a complete check-up,' said the minister.
'This usually takes one to three days, depending on the profession of the worker.'
She said details would be electronically entered into a central database and the examining physician would decide whether the new arrival was fit to work in that particular profession.
'When the acceptance or rejection formalities are completed, the records go into the central computer system and are accessible to the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA), the Labour Ministry as well as immigration at the touch of a button.'
During the ceremony, attended by officials from the LMRA, the EDB, and the ministry, Dr Haffadh invited visiting Sudanese Health Minister Tabita Sokaya to press the button officially launching the project.
Health Ministry's health information directorate head Ebrahim Nauakhda said the check-up aimed to ensure expats are fit for work.
'These checks have always been done, but with the new system in place they now take only one week as opposed to between six and eight weeks,' he said.
'The tests are now conducted according to the nationality and occupation of the expatriate.'
He said around 85 per cent of the check-ups would be conducted at Al Razi Health Centre and 15 per cent at other health centres and private hospitals.
The process is expected to increase the efficiency of clerical work in data management, speed up the results and make computerised data available to physicians at any time.
'The time saved could be applied to improve the check-up area, assist patients and result in an overall improvement of service.'
He said another benefit was the easy availability of information in case of work-related compensation claims and health promotion.
In future, all other health centres will be integrated to the system through an upcoming project.
'The private clinics will be included as well and it would become compatible with the Health Ministry's website,' he said.TradeArabia News Service