By Joanne Bladd
Gulf state plans medical tests to bar entry to workers with infectious diseases
People seeking to move to the UAE will be forced to undergo screening for infectious diseases in their home countries under new plans unveiled by the Gulf state’s Ministry of Health.
The plan is designed to bar migrants at risk of spreading infection from entering the UAE and to curb the entry of contagious diseases, officials said in a statement Wednesday.
The rule will only apply to workers from certain countries, the MoH said, without specifying which nationalities would be affected by the new rule.
Immigrants will undergo a second compulsory screening on their arrival in the UAE, the statement said. Those that test positive for contagious diseases will be barred from the country.
Dr Mahmoud Fikri, assistant undersecretary of the MoH, said the move was in response to an increase in the number of migrants from some countries testing positive for infectious diseases.
“It has been noticed that the rates of contagious diseases increased among some categories coming from some countries in which there are higher rates of these contagious diseases,” he said in a statement to state-run news agency WAM.
According to MoH data, 21 percent of immigrants screened from Asian countries in 2009 tested positive for tuberculosis.
The ministry would “take new preventive measures to curb the increase of such cases,” Dr Fikri said, adding the programme has “so far kept the UAE intact from spread of the contagious diseases that pose danger to the community.
“[The move will] reduce the financial and administrative burden on the health sector in the UAE and the expatriates as well.”
Under existing laws, expatriates are required to undergo medical checks before securing a residency visa in the UAE. However, the potentially month-long before screening could allow for the spread of some diseases before diagnosis, Dr Fikri said.
“Some infected cases who flee and hide could help in spreading some diseases in the community,” he said.
The UAE is one of a handful of countries worldwide, including Saudi Arabia and Singapore, to ban HIV-positive immigrants from securing a visa.
What aboutl a stamped letter from doctors approved of issuing certificates to say this person carries no infectious diseases, e.g. London,Manchester, Leeds, and North Yorkshire........thats for the u.k. Then go around the world, India, Pakistan, but this is quite a hard issue.
Or when people renew their passports, then they don't have to do a medical in the u.a.e. Its not easy, because everyone is not honest about their health.
Didn't they already have this rule? They tested me for any diseases when I got the visa for UAE. But I was tested in UAE, not outside. I thought all the GCC countries had this rule.