Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pregnancy tests for women workers under revised set of medical fitness rules in UAE

Pregnancy tests for women workers for some categories will be required under a revised set of medical fitness rules for granting work and residency permits to expatriates in the country, health officials announced.
The date for its enforcement will be decided in due course while the fee structure remains unchanged, they said.

Under the new federal rules aimed at benefitting public health, all maids, nannies and female drivers will be required to undergo pregnancy tests. In case of a pregnancy, it will be up to the sponsor to allow her to work or not. Only a category of professionals applying for new or renewal of visas will be tested for Hepatitis B and Syphilis. Under this category, those testing positive for Hepatitis, will not be given residency permit while those testing negative will be given mandatory vaccination and issued a certificate. Those with Syphilis will be given treatment locally. Expatriates from all other professions and their dependants applying for a new/renewing visa will only be tested for HIV, pulmonary TB and Leprosy. Those testing positive for these diseases will not be given residency permit.

Only six categories of workers including nannies, housemaids, nursery/kindergarten supervisors, beauty salon and health club workers, private drivers and food handlers in cafeterias and restaurants will be tested for Hepatitis B and Syphilis.
“The latest amendments are designed to eliminate any existing gaps as a result of the increased numbers of foreign labourers to work or reside in the UAE,” said the Minister of Health, Dr Hanif Hassan while announcing the new rules.
There is also a plan to increase the number of medical checkup centers.Rules for tuberculosis remain unchanged making old, new or active cases of pulmonary TB subject to deportation.
“In Dubai Health Authority, we isolate and treat such cases until completely cured before deporting them and providing them with one month’s medicine,” said Maisa Al Bustani, Head of the Medical Fitness Centre, DHA.