Bahrain Health Insurance
To assist expatriates and travelers going to Bahrain, we've created a quick guide on various topics of interest.
- Banking Practices
- Emergency Assistance
- Laws and Local Culture
- Visa Information
- Travel Tips
- Capital City: Manama
Expatriates or travelers going to Bahrain can contact UAE Medical Insurance for more information. Although we are based in the UAE, we have been operating in the Arabian region for many years and are familiar with local regulations and policies of many different countries.
All our services are free. Our local experience and knowledge can help answer any questions related to healthcare or insurance in Bahrain.
This overview of Bahrain gives a brief introduction to the country, with a focus on the Bahraini healthcare network and system.
The Kingdom of Bahrain is a small country that is made up of an archipelago of islands. Bahrain, which means “Kingdom of Two Seas” in Arabic, is an apt name as the water surrounding Bahrain is a unique blend of the salty sea water and sweet spring water that swells up from under the sea. This rare natural phenomenon also gives rise to one of Bahrain’s oldest industries that Bahrain is most famous for. The area’s natural pearls are unlike anywhere ones found anywhere else in the world. Although Bahrain has always been a trade center because of its strategic location at the trade routes between east and west, Bahrain’s international financial status and economy significantly transformed in the early 1930s when oil was discovered in the country. However, as the oil wells began to dry up in the 1990s, Bahrain shifted gears, focusing foremost on oil refining. Today, petroleum production and refining make up 60 percent of the government’s revenues and 30 percent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).
The Bahraini government highly prioritizes its health sector, understanding the social important to the well being of its citizens. The government heavily invests in the health industry, with the total amount spent constantly increasing each year. From 1996 to 2006, the total expenditure on healthcare increased from 70 million Bahraini dinars to 130 million Bahraini dinars.
The Bahraini healthcare system is administered centrally through the Ministry of Health (MOH). The Ministry of Health, not only proposes laws that affect the health sector, its other major responsibilities also include ensuring that all Bahraini citizens have access to healthcare, and that the standard of care is met by both the public and private facilities.
Bahrain citizens and visitors enjoy a very high quality of care that is on par with western standards. As promised by the government’s constitution, all Bahraini nationals enjoy these services for free, while foreign nationals must pay out-of-pocket. Expatriates who have a resident visa are able to have a part of their treatment costs at the public facilities paid for by the government in a co-payment system. Visitors or travelers in Bahrain are also able to use public facilities, but must pay for all of treatment costs out-of-pocket. With only a population of about 1,000,000, there is generally not too long a wait at most health centers. However, in more rural parts of Bahrain, the equipment and infrastructure may be a bit older. Generally, the healthcare personnel will be able to speak Arabic and English.
The private health industry is a rapidly growing sector in the Bahraini health system. In 2009, the Bahraini government introduced a compulsory private health insurance scheme for all expatiates, with the goal of having all expats covered by 2013. As, most expats frequently travel to and from their home country and Bahrain, most individuals and companies are expected to purchase a plan from the international health insurance market. Without a medical insurance plan, medical treatment can be very high, especially at a private hospital. Most private hospitals provide care offer patients private rooms, and exceptional service, analogous to a 5-star hotel. The American Mission Hospital, International Hospital of Bahrain, and the Bahrain Specialist Hospital are very well reputed private hospitals that offer the best care in the nation.
The private healthcare sector is highly encouraged and promoted by the government. The Ministry of Health even allows government medical personnel to take part-time private work.
Recently, the Ministry of Health has hired an Irish company to develop a single national health regulatory authority for the Kingdom of Bahrain. This $7 million USD project involves not only training individual regulatory authorities and professionals, but also to build regulatory structures that are designed to govern both the public and private healthcare sectors in Bahrain.
Bahrain is generally a safe place for expatriates and tourists. Crime rate in Bahrain is relatively low, and violent crimes are rare. Most common crimes that tourists experience is pick pocket or theft. However, more recently, there has been an escalation of violence at demonstrations and protests. As of March, hundreds of people have been injured and many killed. On March 15th, 2011, the Bahraini king declared a three-month state of emergency. As conditions can change rapidly, foreign nationals are advised to check with their country’s embassy or foreign office website for the latest updates. As of now, foreign nationals should all but essential travel to Bahrain. If you are already in Bahrain, avoid demonstrations and public areas.
There are no special vaccinations needed for Bahrain. Having said that, visitors should still make sure that their vaccinations for hepatitis A, tetanus, and diphtheria are up to date. There is a small risk of malaria in Bahrain. However, malaria tablets are not needed. As long as travelers take care to avoid stagnant bodies of water, to always wear bug repellant, and sleep in mosquito nets, risk of infection should be very low.
Travelers and expatriates should also be careful about weather conditions in Bahrain. The climate is generally very hot and arid. In the summer months with peak temperatures, this can be dangerous. Summer peak temperatures can reach as high as 45°C. Along with the arid, dusty nature of the desert terrain, sunburns, sunstrokes, and dehydration can occur, with death as a potential result. Always wear sunscreen, drink plenty of water, and avoid long periods of exposure in the sun.
It is highly advised that foreign nationals going to Bahrain purchase an international medical insurance policy before arriving in Bahrain. Although the quality of healthcare services in Bahrain is very high, the costs also reflect this. A simple doctor’s consultation can cost well over $100 USD, not including other expenses for medicine or diagnostic tests. In the event that you are seriously injured or ill in an area outside of a metropolitan city, emergency evacuation may be required. Without insurance coverage, these costs can exceed $100,000 USD.
UAE Medical Insurance is an impartial, free health insurance specialist that specializes in the GCC region. We have been operating in this region for many years and are familiar to the health network, laws, and policies. Our longstanding relationship with the top international insurers allow us to help you with information on choosing a plan that is most fitted for your specific requirements.
Bahrain’s official currency is the Bahraini Dinar. Coins come in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 25, 50, and 100 fils, while notes come in denominations of ½, 1, 5, 10, and 20. The Bahraini Dinar is the second highest valued currency unit in the world after the Kuwaiti Dinar.
The Bahraini dinar is pegged to the International Monetary Fund’s Special Drawing Rights. As of 2011, one Bahraini Dinar is approximately equal to $2.65 USD.
There are plenty of places to exchange money through Bahrain in addition to the banking facilities at airports and hotels, which are known to give unfavorable exchange rates, with hotels being the worst. There are many currency exchange locations that offer more competitive rates in city-centers.
Below is a list of trustworthy currency exchange facilities in Bahrain:
- UAE Exchange
Zubara Avenue Shop 5 & 263G Bldg 263, Block 308 Zubara Avenue
Tel : +973 17233744
- Dalil Exchange
Telephone: +973 17223464
- Al Fardan Khalil Ebrahim Exchange
PO Box 296
Tel: +973 17253627
- Al Zamil Exchange Est.
PO Box 5285
Tel: +973 17212313
Fax: +973 17212565
- Bahrain India International Exchange Co BSC (c)
PO Box 3204
Tel: +973 17210330
Fax: +973 17210023
- Nonoo Exchange Co.
PO Box 11970
Tel: +973 17214021
Fax: +973 17230929
- World Exchange Centre WLL
PO Box 5036
Tel: +973 17211900
Fax: +973 17210979
Only resident visa holders with a “letter of no objection” or a “no objection certificate” (NOC) from your employer are allowed to open a bank account in Bahrain. The NOC states your salary and amount that will be paid into the bank. Banks may also ask you to show proof of address and a photocopy of your passport.
If you are a resident that is dependent on your spouse or family member for sponsorship, you will need permission from your sponsor.
Cash is the preferred form of payment for transactions in Dubai. Many places especially small businesses will not accept checks. Also, please note that issuing a check without the adequate funds in your account is considered a serious criminal offense in the GCC region and are usually prosecuted. Penalties can be harsh including fines and long jail sentences.
Most major international credit cards are accepted in Bahrain. It is a convenient way to withdraw cash and pay for large purchases. Note that if you use for your credit card, there is typically delayed charging. However, if you use it to withdraw cash, the charge is processed immediately. It is not recommended to pay bills with credit cards, as you may be currency conversion rates may change.
You can use a credit card to withdraw cash, but be warned that there are typically international fees. You may also need to contact your credit card issuer before using the card in a foreign country. Many credit companies have fraud protection and may view purchases outside of your home country as frauds and place a block on your card.
If your card is lost or stolen, be sure to report it immediately to your issuer and confirm it in writing. Always keep your credit card information, such as number, issuing date, telephone number of the card company at hand.
ATMs can generally be found throughout the city, especially in major urban areas such as shopping centers. It is probably the easiest way to withdraw cash immediately. However, be warned that if you are using an international credit or debit card, your bank may charge an international withdrawal fee. The fees vary from bank to bank. Be sure to check with your credit or debit card issuer to avoid excessive withdrawal fees.
UAE Medical Insurance has many years of local experience. Through our knowledge of local healthcare networks and international insurers, we can help you decide on the medical insurance plan that is appropriate for you and your family.
We are a team of independent insurance specialists. Our advice is free and impartial.
Rest assured that UAE Medical Insurance will represent your interests and do our best to help you with information on how to get the best rates. Our longstanding relationship with many of the top insurers allows us to know the best ways to get the most cost-effective plans for you.
If you are interested in learning more about international medical insurance or would like to receive a free information pack and comparison table, contact our team today. One of our professional insurance advisors will be in contact with you at a time convenient to you to further discuss your insurance options.
It is important to get to know the local emergency support in the destinations that you are going to. To support travelers going to Bahrain, we’ve provided a list of important numbers that you can contact in the event of an emergency.
It is important for travelers or expatriates arriving at a new destination to familiarize themselves with local emergency services. Bahrain is a relatively safe country with a low crime rate. Violent crimes are very rare. However, tourists and expatriates should watch out for pick-pockets or purse snatchers. Travelers or residents in Bahrain can contact the following numbers if they are in need of emergency support:
- Police: 999
- Fire Department: 997
- Ambulance: 998
Hospitals in Bahrain
|American Mission Hospital253447||Psychiatric Hospital 17279300 17270637|
|Geriatric Hospital 17320969 17334356|
|Maternity Hospitals in Bahrain:|
|Jidhafs Maternity Hospital 17550022 17554131||Muharraq Maternity Hospital - 17322911 17320095|
|East Riffa Maternity Hospital 17771258||Sitra Maternity Hospital 17730758|
|Western Region Maternity Hospital 17631627|
If you are in Bahrain and need immediate information about flight timings flying into or out of Bahrain, you can contact the following numbers:
Civil Aviation Department, Bahrain
Tel: +973 1732 1100
Fax: +973 1732 5757, +973 1733 9066
Bahrain International Airport
Tel: +973 1732 1997
Fax: +973 1732 4096
UAE Medical Insurance is dedicated to ensuring you are protected medically no matter where you are in the world. We are a team of independent insurance specialists with the goal of providing insurance information designed specifically for your needs. Our service is always free.
Contact us today for more information on an international health insurance policy.
Bahrain is a very progressive country with relatively liberal views. With a little over a third of it population made up by foreign nationals, Bahrain is an interesting mix of cultures. Visitors will find foreign nationals from all over the world residing in Dubai, including people from Britain, India, Sri Lanka, Europe, America, etc.
The official religion of Bahrain is Islamic, and the majority of its people are Muslim. Although this is true, there is a high level of tolerance for other religions. In Bahrain, one can find mosques next to churches and temples. In Bahrain about 9 percent of people are Christians, 80 percent are Muslims, and another 10 percent is made up of people who practice other religions or no religion at all. The Islamic roots of Bahrain are readily visible. With the exception of New Year’s Day on January 1st and the Bahraini National Day on December 16th, all other holidays are related to the Islamic religion. Of the 80 percent of people who are Muslims, 80 percent and 20 percent identify themselves as Shia and Sunni, respectively. With important posts, including the ruling family, dominated entirely by the Sunnis, they control Bahrain economically. The Shia Muslims are typically the rural force or the ones who make up the enlisted ranks in the nation’s defense and internal security forces.
The holy month of Ramadan is an important time of year for Bahrain and other Islamic countries. Since the Islamic calendar is dependent on moon sightings, the start and end of Ramadan can change from year to year. However, it usually occurs sometime in the month of August and September. During this time, Muslims will fast from sunrise to sunset, and devote extra attention to prayers and reflecting on their faith. Non-Muslims, including tourists, are expected to also respect this fast. Although they are not required to fast, non-Muslims are required to abstain from eating, drinking, and smoking in public. In most places, alcohol-sale will be banned for the duration of Ramadan. Supermarkets and shopping malls are open, but food and drinks are not to be consumed on premises. However, you can purchase food and drinks, return home, and consume it there. Most cafes and restaurants not in shopping malls are not open in the daytime, but may stay open later than usual. Be aware that breaking laws during Ramadan may result in punishments that are more severe than ones outside of Ramadan. The end of Ramadan is signaled by Eid al-Fitr, which is a celebration that extends over the course of a few days.
The official language of Bahrain is Arabic. English is also widely spoken. However, in rural areas, it may be more difficult to find English speakers.
Visitors and expatriates should take care to dress conservatively. Muslims may be offended by seeing people, especially women, who reveal their arms, chest, or legs. In hotels and largely western areas, it may be acceptable, but to ensure your safety, foreign nationals are encouraged to dress modestly.
Although heavily taxed, alcohol is available for non-Muslims in designated areas. As mentioned above, during Ramadan, alcohol sale is banned even for non-Muslims.
UAE Medical Insurance can provide assistance through our many years of experience working in the GCC region. If you require international medical insurance, which is highly recommended for all travelers and expatriates, we can provide free and impartial advice. We work with the top insurers in the world to ensure that no matter what your budget or requirements are, we can help you find a plan that suits your needs.
Please contact us today for information on choosing an international medical insurance plan.
Travelers to Bahrain are required to have a visa in order to enter Bahrain. What ever is it not required to have a Bahrain Health Insurance to apply for the visa. Nationals holding an Arabian Gulf Cooperation Council (AGCC) passport, which include Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, can enter Bahrain without a visa. Nationals from the European Union, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Hong Kong are issued a tourist visa at the Bahrain International Airport or at the King Fahad Causeway. All other nationals must apply for a visa beforehand at a designated Bahrain embassy.
Foreign nationals may enter with a tourist visa, visit visa, business visa, family visa, dependent visa, or employment visa. All of these visas require a local sponsor with the exception of a few categories of tourist visas.
Tourist visas are typically applied for through a registered tourist company. Tourist visas are valid for up to 2 weeks, and are renewable once for another two weeks. As mentioned above, foreign nationals from the European Union, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Hong Kong can obtain a free tourist visa at entry.
72-Hour Visa/ 7-Day Visa
These visas are issued when arriving at the Bahrain International Airport or at the King Fahad Causeway. These visas are meant for people who are in Bahrain for a business visit, trade show, exhibition, or seminar. Foreign nationals applying for this type of visa must show that they have purchased a return or onward journey ticket. Travelers who have lived in the GCC for at least six months can be automatically issued a 72-hour visa on arrival.
Visit visas are designed for foreign nationals who are in Bahrain to see friends or family. A local sponsor is required for a visit visa. All applications can be sent to the General Directorate of Immigration and Passports (GDIP). Visit visas are valid for up to one month, but may be extended for a maximum of three months.
Business visas are meant for visitors who are in Bahrain for business reasons. The rules regulating business visas are similar to visit visas. They require a sponsor, and are valid for up to one month. They also may be renewed for a maximum of three months.
Family visas are issued to wives or children who are sponsor by a husband or father. The family visa allows the foreign national to stay in Bahrain for as long as the sponsor stays. However, a family visa holder is not allowed to be employed.
UAE Medical Insurance provides free advice on international medical insurance. Expatriates or travelers planning to go to Bahrain can contact us for advice on anything related to Bahrain healthcare or insurance. We have been operating in the region for many years and are familiar with health-related policies, regulations, and laws.
We are a team of independent insurance specialists that works with many top international insurers. If you are planning a trip to Bahrain, it is important to make sure that you have adequate insurance coverage. Although Bahrain does have a high level of healthcare services, costs can be very high without medical insurance.
If you are planning a trip to Bahrain, it is important to make sure that you have adequate insurance coverage. Although Bahrain does have a high level of healthcare services, costs can be very high without medical insurance.
Contact us today for more information on Bahrain or an international medical insurance policy.
When traveling to a new country, it is important to make sure that you are aware of current political or societal issues, and to make sure that you are sensitive to cultural differences.
Bahrain is currently undergoing political instability with protests and demonstrations on the rise. On March 15th, 2011, the Bahraini government declared a three-month state of emergency, giving the Bahrain Defense Force full responsibility of maintaining national security. Until the state of emergency is lifted and protests subside, travel to Bahrain is not recommended. There is also a threat from terrorism in Bahrain as terrorist groups have issued out threats of attacks in the gulf region.
Generally, crime rates are relatively low. However, females should be careful, especially when traveling alone at night.
Bahrain has a zero tolerance to drinking and driving. If you are arrested, you will automatically be placed in a drivers’ prison. First time offenders have to pay a fine of no less than $1,400 USD and may be banned from driving. Repeat offenders’ penalties will be more severe. Although alcohol is available in Bahrain airports, you will not be allowed to board if the airline or airport staff believe that you are inebriated.
Be careful when traveling by sea in Bahrain, especially on Dhows, a traditional Arabic boat. Many dhows are not up to safety standards. In March 30, 2006, a Dhow sank, causing 58 fatalities.
Always respect local traditions, customs, and laws. Although Bahrain is fairly liberal in comparison to other Arab states, many Bahraini nationals may be offended by revealing clothing or public displays of affection. Both men and women should try to dress conservatively unless you are in a hotel or private space. For women this means covering your arms and legs, and for men, this means covering your chest and legs. This is especially important during the holy month of Ramadan or if you are at a holy place, as the penalties may be more harsh than normal.
UAE Medical Insurance is an independent insurance specialist that can help you find an insurance solution that will meet your unique needs. It is important to always have medical insurance when you are traveling, as in many countries, medical treatment is not free and can be very expensive.
Bahrain has very high quality medical services. However, they can also be very expensive if you are not a Bahraini national. Protect yourself and your family from significant financial losses in the event that medical treatment is needed.
Expatriates and travelers looking for international medical insurance can contact us for the latest information about medical insurance in Bahrain. We have been operating in the GCC for many years and are familiar with local laws and regulations.
Contact us today for a free information pack, tailored to your needs.