UAE: Ban on prenuptial tests at private health facilities

The Siasat Daily
Private health facilities have been banned from conducting prenuptial tests required to finalise marriage procedures, according to a senior official.
The step has been taken to prevent premarital medical fitness certificates from being forged.
“Private medical units are not allowed to carry out tests required for prenuptial medical tests,” said Dr Ibrahim Al Qadi, Director of the Private Medical Practice Department at the Ministry of Health.

“The ministry has notified private health facilities that they should not conduct any medical analysis for marriage purpose or even for visa requirements.”

Dr Qadi added that medical fitness certificates have become a prerequisite for couples in the UAE who plan to get married to guarantee a healthy society free of communicable and hereditary ailments.

The Central Preventive Medicine Department, which is affiliated to the Ministry of Health, is the sole authorised body conducting prenuptial tests. Some health institutes had been authorised to carry out the fitness check-ups by the ministry for meeting certain criteria.

On whether the ministry will allow advanced health facilities to conduct the tests, the official said, “The ministry will allow health institutes to conduct the required tests if they prove they are efficient enough to have quality analysis and consequently, meet the classification criteria set by the ministry.”

According to a recent report of the Preventive Medicine Department, congenital anomalies have consistently ranked as the fourth cause of death in the country in the past 10 years.

“Inherited predisposition is an important factor in causing diseases such as atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, coronary heart disease as well as certain types of cancers and mental illnesses,” said the report.

6 December 2006