At a Glance - Bahrain

Bahrain, Feature, Healthcare, News

Fraser Clarke

It can be difficult to know where to start when planning a move overseas, especially if you aren’t fully sure where your future could lie. 

That’s why our latest Odyssey Exclusive series ‘At a Glance’ will help provide you with a quick overview of each location we work with, to help you decide if a move to the country could be worth pursuing.

Article Four - Bahrain

Where is it?

Bahrain is an island in the Gulf, linked to Saudi Arabia by the staggering 16 mile long King Fahd Causeway.

It is often referred to as the Gulf’s jewel in the crown, with its small size ensuring that it gets a cooling coastal breeze. It’s also one of the most liberal nations in the Gulf, making a move a gentle introduction to life in the region.

Regular, cheap flights can have you in Dubai or Abu Dhabi within an hour and a half, whilst London is just over six hours away - with plenty of regular flights available with both British Airways and Gulf Air.

How is Healthcare Structured?

Recent statistics show that the healthcare system - which is one of the best funded in the Gulf region - is enjoying a great deal of success.

Life as a medic within the Bahraini healthcare system is far removed from the lifestyle endured by many working in the NHS. Akin to the National Health Service the state system is free at the point of need for Bahraini nationals (and heavily subsidised for expats), unlike in Britain however these people only make up around 46% of the total population. 

When combined with the small population this means that the healthcare system in the country is rarely stretched beyond its means.

Funding for the system is also generous, far more so than in most European countries. This ensures that hospitals are not understaffed, doctors and specialists aren’t overworked and a healthy work/life balance is achieved.

One of the main reasons that many people give for wanting to escape from the NHS is the ever growing paperwork and bureaucracy that prevents them from doing what they love - working with patients.

In Bahrain this isn’t an issue, with hospitals having administrative departments who deal with the limited paperwork. This can allow medics to focus on clinical care, working with the state of the art equipment within the hospitals to treat patients. 

What will I need?

The criteria will change on a job-by-job basis, but most employers will look for the following:

  • A medical degree from a WHO approved medical school
  • Completion of a Western residency programme
  • Board certification from a Western country: USA, Canada, UK, Ireland, France, South Africa etc
  • At least one year of experience post specialist training
  • Fluency in English

What are the positives?

  • Generous tax-free salaries
  • A traditional island lifestyle
  • A central location
  • Lower cost of living than the UAE
  • A friendly local population

What are the negatives?

  • Still not as liberal as the West
  • The summer heat can be oppressive
  • The modern skyscrapers can create an artificial feel