Medical check-up for GCC states bound OFWs

Every OFW needs to undergo a medical test to ensure that they are fit to work in another country. A fit to work medical certificate must be submitted in order to get an OEC and leave the country. For GCC states (Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates), you can only get a medical certificate from GCC Approved Medical Centers’ Association (GAMCA) accredited clinics. Listed below is the process in getting a medical certificate and what kind of diseases makes someone unfit to work in GCC states.

1. Apply for an OEC at POEA or through your recruitment agency to receive a medical referral.

2. Check the list of accredited clinics. Once you have chosen, go to the medical clinic and bring with you your passport, working visa and the referral slip.

3. Bring around Php5,000 to pay for the medical test as they may ask you to take additional tests or operations in case they discover something such as dental problems. Do not forget to ask for the receipt for your payment.

4. You will receive a fit to work medical certificate if you pass all the tests.

List of Diseases:

Infectious category

• HIV/AIDS reactive

• Hepatitis B surface antifgen, HCV reactive

• Microfilaria positive and malaria blood film positive, known leprosy patients

• Tuberculosis – any type, X-ray showing active PTB, past evidence of PTB or healed • Pulmonary scar, including minimum fibrosis, calcification (granuloma) pleural thickening, pleural effusion, tuberculosis lymphadenitis

• VDRL/TPHA reactive

Non-infectious category

• Chronic renal failure

• Chronic hepatitis failure

• Congestive heart failure

• Hypertension

• Diabetes mellitus

• Known case of cancer

• Psychiatric disease and neurological disorders

• Physical disabilities, i.e. color blindness, deafness

*Not all DOH accredited clinics are GAMCA-accredited clinics

Pending Removal of GAMCA-accredited clinics

The House committee on Overseas Workers Affair reported that the government is now taking action on the monopoly of GAMCA-accredited clinics and plans to let OFWs freely choose which clinic to go to as long as it is accredited by DOH. The Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Justice, Department of Labor and Employment and Department of Health had all agreed and endorsed the removal of limiting GCC-bound OFWs to take medical tests in GAMCA-accredited clinics. By having more options, it may result to lower medical fees for OFWs.