Up until now, expatriates living and working in Bahrain were able to take good advantage of the island nation’s free medical system, but new plans are being worked up that will remove this automatic right to free health care and instead make expats pay for all the treatment that they receive.
There are already many benefits to living and working in Bahrain – such as attractive salaries, low taxation and social payments, a great climate and a relatively free lifestyle – but the free access to health care was seen as a great value added bonus by many.
The plans to make expats pay for medical care will come into effect this month or next, although Gulf state lawmakers are not renowned for making or sticking to deadlines.
If you are not currently covered by any form of international medical insurance policy and instead you rely on the state to pay for any and all treatment, you must start actively looking around for an insurer who will cover you. The cost of even basic treatment in public and private clinics in Bahrain is far from cheap, and so you need to have your and your family’s best interests at heart and actively research your health insurance options.
The proposals to make health insurance effectively compulsory for expats living in Bahrain, to remove the fiscal burden from the state, were initially suggested back in April. The plans are expected to become law as early as this month, meaning that expats living in Bahrain really only have a small window of time to shop around for competitive quotes.