Bahrain Medical Insurance
Bahrain is a small county, roughly 760 km² in size, comprised of an archipelago of 33 islands. The country's name was created from the two Arabic words “thnain Bahr” which means “two seas”. It is referring to a unique phenomenon of sweet water springs under that sea which mixes with the salty water, which also gives the area's natural pearls a special luster. These pearls gave Bahrain its first claim to fortune but were soon eclipsed when oil was found in the country in 1932. Oil then became the economic driving force until the fields started running dry in the 1994 which caused sporadic waves of unrest, leading to a push for democracy. In 2002 the Bahrain nation became a constitutional monarchy with Sheikh Hamad as its king. This happened around the same time Bahrain was becomming as an offshore banking center, and commercial hub in the international community. Though Bahrain only has a population of around 740,000 it is considered one of the Gulf’s fastest growing and most progressive economic centres.
Bahrain recognizes that health care is a right and an influential component for the social well-being for the Bahraini people. From 1996 to 2006 the percent of the GDP spent on health care has dropped slightly from 4.6% to 3.7%, the actually amount spent has been constantly increasing from around 70 million BD to 130 million BD. The department providing health care and distributing government health funds to public health facilities is the Ministry of health (MOH). The MOH mission is to ensure the national people’s health; it services both non-nationals employed by a Bahraini company and Bahraini nationals. For nationals, receiving care from public hospitals will be free while non-Bahrainis, expatriates, working within the country will have co-payments, in that only part of the treatment will be covered. If you are an expatriate not working within Bahrain, any medical treatment received will have to be paid by you, either out-of-pocket or through your international health insurance provider. Any health emergency that should arise and requires immediate attention will not be provided by the public health care system. Care received at a private facility or hospital is not covered, meaning that expatriates and Bahraini nationals will have to pay out-of-pocket. Since medical costs at private medical facilities, or for expatriates at public facilities, can be expensive within Bahrain, it is recommended that visitors and expatriates obtain a medical insurance care plan.
The quality of health care provided by facilities in the Kingdom of Bahrain is generally high, or at least equal to that in the United States and Western Europe. All Bahraini cities and major towns have at least one modern hospital, although generally having several more, with highly trained staff and state of the art equipment. The types of healthcare facilities found within Bahrain include public, private and military. Some poorer sections may contain older facilities, but even these will be able to provide acceptable care for your medical needs. When receiving care within a private hospital you’ll generally be treated in a single room rather than a ward, some high end private hospitals provide care which is comparable to a 5-star hotel but the cost of treatment is also comparably high. Some of Bahrain's more well known medical facilities offering high quality treatment include the International Hospital of Bahrain, the American Mission Hospital and the Bahrain Specialist Hospital.
With a wide variety of facilities available for both Bahraini nationals and expatriates, there are very little problems with overcrowding at medical facilities. Hospitals and major clinics are open 24 hours a day and provide service on a first come first serve basis. Both Arabic and English are spoken throughout these facilities, with English being standard within private facilities because they routinely treat foreign patients.
Bahrain is a reasonably safe place to visit. The only crime expatriates need to watch out for is the infrequent pick pocket or theft, which usually happens in souks (old market areas). There are demonstrations and protests do continue, but at a low level on small parts of the island. Expatriates should avoid large gatherings and crowds such as these because they can and have turned violent, and can do so without warning.
It is also important to pay attention to the weather conditions within Bahrain. The country often experiences extremely high temperatures which can be dangerous. In the summer months, the average temperature is around 40°C, although on exceedingly hot days the temperatures can rise to nearly 50°C. These conditions do create the danger of sunburn, sunstroke and dehydration that if not properly dealt with can be potentially fatal. Sand and dust storms also occur regularly due to the flat terrain and desert that cover most of Bahrain. During the winter months of October to March temperatures tend to fall between 10°C and 20°C with high humidity.
If you would like to find more information about insurance in Bahrain contact one of our dedicated advisers today