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Bahrain Guide: What is VAT for Healthcare Services in Bahrain?

VAT in Bahrain
What is VAT for Healthcare Services in Bahrain

Healthcare services in Bahrain include all preventative and basic medical services a patient receives in hospitals, health centres, medical clinics, and other medical facilities but exclude services provided by these bodies for a commercial or investment purpose.

The supply of preventive and healthcare services and associated goods and services is zero-rated in Bahrain. To benefit from the zero rates:-

  • Healthcare services must be qualifying medical services provided by qualified medical professionals or qualified medical institutions to a patient during his/her treatment.
  • Goods and services in Bahrain related to a supply of healthcare services provided to a patient during his / her treatment are also zero-rated.
  • The provision of healthcare services by government hospitals and medical institutions is outside the scope of VAT in Bahrain when they are provided free of charge.

What are qualifying medical services for VAT in Bahrain?

Qualifying medical services in Bahrain aim to prevent, protect, maintain, diagnose, treat, avoid deterioration, and restore the health of a person. These include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • General medical health services
  • Specialist medical health services, including surgery
  • Dental services
  • Services related to the treatment of mental illnesses
  • Occupational or surgical health services
  • Speech therapy
  • Physiotherapy
  • Sight and hearing tests
  • Nursing care (including care in a nursing home)
  • Services relating to diagnosing, including the analysis of any samples and x-rays
  • Vaccinations
  • Health testing and screening performed under local law, documented policy, or contractual obligation
  • Cosmetic procedure as part of treating a medical condition/ a critical physical discomfort as determined by a qualified medical

What are qualifying medical institutions for VAT in Bahrain?

Qualifying medical institutions in Bahrain include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Hospitals
  • Physiotherapy centres
  • Medical centres
  • Private clinics
  • Alternative medical centres
  • Clinics for practicing and supporting medical professions licensed by the National Health Regulatory Authority or under the supervision of the Ministry of Health

What are qualifying medical professionals for VAT in Bahrain?

Qualifying medical professionals in Bahrain are licensed practitioners by the National Health Regulatory Authority or under any other authorized medical body in Bahrain. It includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • Medical practitioners
  • Midwives
  • Nurses
  • Mental health specialists
  • Dentists
  • Opticians
  • Radiologists
  • Pathologists
  • Paramedics
  • Pharmacists
  • Physiotherapists

What are goods and services related to healthcare services for VAT in Bahrain?

  • Healthcare-related goods and services in Bahrain are an integral part of the healthcare services provided with the qualifying medical services. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Drugs, medicines, bandages, and other medical consumables administered or used while performing qualifying medical services,
  • Goods and equipment used as part of the qualifying medical services (e.g., prostheses replacement, implants, metal screws, pins, rods, plates, braces, etc.),
  • Laboratory services performed by a qualified person,
  • Transport services for patients or those injured,
  • Accommodation and catering services provided by a qualified medical provider to its patients,
  • Mortuary services provided by qualified medical providers,
  • Medical consultations remotely using electronic communications such as telephone or video links, and
  • Administrative services in the context of qualifying healthcare services qualifying include the registration of a new patient, issuing a duplicate invoice, or sickness certificate.

What is VAT treatment for Medicines and Medical Equipment in Bahrain?

  • The supply of medicines and medical equipment by lists maintained by the National Health Regulatory Authority is zero-rated and applied to all supplies of these medicines and medical equipment throughout the supply chain in Bahrain.
  • The import into Bahrain from outside the territory of the Implementing States is exempt from VAT in Bahrain.
  • A supply or import in Bahrain of medicines and medical equipment outside the list is taxable at the standard VAT in Bahrain of 5%.

What is VAT treatment for imported goods to be used by persons with special needs in Bahrain?

The import into Bahrain, from outside the territory of the Implementing States, of necessities and equipment used by persons with special needs is exempt from VAT, provided meeting the conditions and controls stipulated in the Customs Law.  The points to be met for a good to qualify for the customs exemption are:-

  • The importer in Bahrain must be a government entity concerned for people with special needs, a foundation/society licensed with the competent government entity for people with special needs, or a GCC national holding people with special needs cards, based on the type of disability.
  • The volume, quantity, and kind of imported good(s) shall be conforming to the actual requirements based on the type of disability.
  • The goods in Bahrain imported in the name of the government entity, the foundation/society, or the GCC national.
  • The individuals benefiting from the customs exemption may not dispose of the imported motor vehicles before the expiry of three years from the date imported.
  • The following documents must be attached to the customs declaration Exemption letter from the competent government body in any GCC States, Original invoice, and Certificate of Origin.

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