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Worldwide Medical Insurance News: Health checks to be used in Gulf countries to detect and bar gay expats

Officials could use the routine health checks that are carried out on expatriates entering Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) to detect if a person is gay.

Those who are found to be so would then be barred from entering these nations, if plans proposed by Yousuf Mindkar, the director of public health at the Kuwaiti health ministry, go ahead.

Local newspaper Al Rai has reported the proposals and Gulf News has managed to obtain a translation of what Mr Mindkar has said.

It states: "Health centres conduct the routine medical check to assess the health of expatriates when they come into the Gulf Cooperation Countries.

"However we will take stricter measures that will help us detect gays who will then be barred from entering Kuwait or any of the GCC member states."

Such measures would be contrary to international human rights laws and undo the work that has been done to open up many Gulf states as places ready to compete for global business.

The nature of detection methods has not yet been specified, but more detail is likely to emerge if a central committee accepts the proposals when it meets on November 11th.

Other nations that have implemented tests have used anal probe techniques and there are fears that this could be the same in Kuwait and associated countries.

Anyone who is detected under the system would have 'unfit' stamped onto their medical records, reports the Kuwaiti Times.

This automatically means that they are disqualified from applying for a visa to enter the country.

Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates all have a ban on homosexual acts and they carry a prison term of up to ten years in Kuwait.

It is not just gay people who need to be aware of local laws before relocating to Kuwait, as sexual relationships of any kind are illegal outside marriage in the country.

This can have a serious impact on lifestyle for unmarried couples used to the freedoms of the UK.

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