Pre-Employment Medical Screening

Depending on which sector you will be working in, a potential employer may request a Pre-Employment Medical Screening.

There are various clinics that may perform this service, but I attended the Al Madina Occupational Health Center  on Electra Street, behind the New Medical Center Specialty (NMC) Hospital in Abu Dhabi. (Note: The SEHA clinic at the Sheikh Khalifa Medical Center in Abu Dhabi, which carries out medical screening for visas, does not offer this service!)

Apparently you can make appointments, but I walked into the clinic on a weekday at 11am and the whole procedure was done within 45 minutes. I was given a number at the front desk and joined three other women in the waiting area. After 10 minutes I was seen at the registration desk, provided the essential paperwork, paid 250 AED cash and was given a little white receipt card stating my required tests and my record locator. The required paperwork included:

– Letter from employer outlining required tests

– Passport

I was immediately seen by a nurse, who weighed me, measured my height, took my blood pressure and asked me some basic questions. Then I moved straight to the doctor’s office; a male and a female doctor are available, so you will be examined by someone of your gender. I was asked a few questions and the examination involved removing my top and having the doctor listen to my heart and lungs. I also had my eye sight tested and a blood sample taken. A chest X-ray is generally required too. If you recently had an X-ray done for your visa (these results are valid for 3 months) you can provide the doctor with your valid medical certificate and ask if he/she will waive the need for another X-ray. Depending on various variables this may or may not be acceptable.

The procedure was quick and painless, and the facilities nice and clean. There were only about 10 men in the examination waiting area, but being the only woman there I was simply ushered from one room into another without having to join the queue. The nurse and the doctor were generally concerned with answering any medical questions and both gave educated advice on various topics. The phlebotomist was very skilled – which I was very thankful for – and all staff were very courteous and spoke fluent English.

The results can be picked up at the clinic after 48 hours upon presenting your white receipt card.

I was well impressed with their service. When I proceeded to the blood testing room there were 6 men waiting. The male doctor observed this from his office and came out to enquire why there was such a ‘huge’ backlog of patients and what could be done to reduce the patients’ waiting time. He ensured everyone had a seat, fetched me a big office chair so I could sit far away from all the men, and asked that I would be seen by the phlebotomist before all others. Sometimes, being a woman in this country is very helpful.

NB: Requirements and procedures may differ from person to person, day to day, and office to office. This was my experience, in October 2013. No guarantees that you will have the exact same experience.

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