Things to Know About the Medical Exam for OFWs

Date Posted: January 02, 2014

All Filipinos who are bound for overseas deployment need to go through a medical exam procedure. This is to ensure that the hired worker is in good physical condition and is not suffering from any medical illness.

Listed below are some important information about this pre-employment requirement that all aspiring OFWs should be aware of:

  • A medical examination should only be required to applicants who already received an employment offer. Only the selected applicants will undergo a medical examination so it should not be required at the start of one's application. Recruiters who initially refer a jobseeker to a medical clinic for examination may be a sign of an illegal recruiter or a recruitment activity.


  • The job offer may be canceled because of the medical result. Hired applicants should first wait for a clear medical exam result before celebrating. This is because the job offer can still be cancelled or delayed if the result shows that the worker is not in good health condition.


  • The certificate is only valid up to 3 months. For the reason that the medical exam is only valid for 90 days, hired applicants with a "fit to work" medical certificate should be able to leave the country within three months after the medical procedures. The worker will be required to repeat the medical exams upon the expiration of the certificate.


  • Medical exam fees. The fees for the medical procedures are usually shouldered by the applicants. However, in cases when the deployment of the worker is delayed and the medical certificate expires, the fees for the repeat medical exams should be paid by the agency.


  • The medical tests vary per country. The requirement for the medical examination depends upon the specifications and requirements of your host country. For example, there is the Gulf Cooperation Council(GCC)-Accredited Medical Clinics Association or GAMCA that governed the medical exams of foreign workers in the following countries: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

According to GAMCA, the following is the list of diseases that classify applicants in unfit to work status.

  • Infectious category: HIV/AIDS reactive, Hepatitis B surface antigen, HCV reactive, Microfilaria positive and malaria blood film positive, known leprosy patients,

Tuberculosis - any type, X-ray showing active PTB, past evidence of PTB or healed, Pulmonary scar, including minimum fibrosis, calcification (granuloma) pleural thickening, pleural effusion, tuberculosis lymphadenitis, VDRL/TPHA reactive

  • Non-infectious category: Chronic renal failure, Chronic hepatitis failure, Congestive heart failure, Hypertension, Diabetes mellitus, known cases of cancer, Psychiatric disease and neurological disorders, Physical disabilities, i.e. color blindness, deafness


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