October 9, 2012 -
The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) will take measures to make all migrant workers submit fingerprints and iris scans for health tracking purposes. The biometric information will be linked to health data from clinical laboratory and radiological tests that are required to be taken by migrant workers before they are permitted to enter to any Gulf state.
Workers from India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal, Egypt, Sudan or Ethiopia will need to have examinations at health centers in their respective countries before gaining work approvals and documentation.
It is expected that 1.7 million laborers will need to undertake testing, which will also be required on an annual basis.
The biometrics system will allow Gulf states to quickly identify workers for testing and medical records.
The GCC is committed to this system, according to Nasser Khelifa Al Budoor, Assistant Undersecretary and Member of the Executive Office for GCC Health Ministers Council, in order to provide “a healthy environment free from diseases and to reduce the financial burdens of the health ministries in purchasing costly medications for treatment of infectious diseases.”
Gulf states participating in this program include Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.