‘Firms should pay for expat workers’

Companies in Bahrain will be bound to pay the annual fee for all their local and expatriate workers in exchange for the government-provided medical services after a new health care system for the private sector came into effect yesterday.

Minister of Health Sadiq Al Shehabi said that the companies with less than 50 employees would have to take part in the facilities provided by the ministry.

Companies with more than 50 workers could either strike a deal with the licensed health insurance companies or establish a 24-hour medical facility.

“Firms using the ministry health care facility will have to pay an annual BD72 per expatriate worker and BD22 for a local employee,” he explained.

The fees of the expatriate employees must be paid during the renewal process of the commercial registration of the companies. Meanwhile, for the Bahraini employees the fees will be merged with the monthly social insurance fees.

Commenting on the issue, the Vice President of the Administration and Financial Affairs in the Labour Market Regulatory Authority (LMRA) Shaikh Fawaz bin Hamad Al Khalifa, stressed on the importance of the companies to adhere to the system and maintain paying the fees. He said that the fees collection process has already been started.