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Bahrain's medical infrastructure includes 28 health centres,
in addition to a public hospital.

Bahrain health centres log 3.2m patient visits

MANAMA, February 21, 2015

The number of visits made by patients who report to Bahrain’s health centres for treatment has averaged 3.2 million annually, a top ministry official said.

“Every person living in Bahrain reports to his respective health centre three times a year on an average,”Health Ministry assistant under-secretary for primary care and public health Dr Mariam Al Jalahma was quoted as saying by the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.

According to latest figures, Bahrain's medical infrastructure includes 28 health centres, in addition to a public hospital.

In a statement, Dr Al Jalahma said that the primary care budget, distributed to different centres, represented up to 36 per cent of the ministry's overall budget, stressing the increasing demand on medical services.

Defending the decision to levy fees, she said the scheme was in line with the government's drive to set up a health insurance programme that covers all citizens and non-Bahrainis alike.

She pointed out the ministry's full commitment to the labour law which was passed by parliament, stipulating the responsibility of every employer to ensure his/her employees the required health care.

“The health fees, which caused controversy, remain far below the real costs of health services which are provided,” she said, emphasising that vaccines, dental treatment, X-rays, lab analyses and medication featuring on the ministry's lists are provided free-of-charge.

She denied claims that the new scheme was imposed for lucrative reasons, citing that the ministry chose to levy BD72 ($190) per year for each expatriate employee and BD22.500 ($59.30) for Bahraini staff, although a study conducted in 2006 recommended an annual fees of BD108 ($285) per employee.

Quoting statistics, Dr Al Jalahma said up to 30 per cent of workers registered with Al Razi Health Centre suffer from chronic diseases which include sickle cell, blood pressure and cholesterol.

'The first visit of a patient to undergo primary tests costs BD230 ($606) for every employee as it covers medical examination and lab tests,' she said, adding that other follow-up visits each cost BD130 ($343) on an average of four periodic visits per year. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Bahrain | health centres | Patients | Health Ministry |

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