Our first edition of 2022 focuses on Healthcare and Life Sciences. It is a sector that will once again have the spotlight on it this year as we continue to tackle COVID-19 and its subsequent variants. While the pandemic continues to challenge the sector, governments across the region forge ahead with their plans to expand and upgrade healthcare systems and develop robust world-class healthcare infrastructure.
For the region, healthcare is a vital pillar in diversifying its economies, both locally and as medical tourism hubs. To underpin this, healthcare authorities across the region continue to implement frameworks and regulations that provide structure and accountability.
In this edition, you have unique access to great insights and expert commentary on a number of pertinent healthcare regulatory developments. You will find a topical mix of articles; for example, our lawyers discuss vaccines and returning to work during the pandemic. They take you through several other areas, including stem cell research in Bahrain, clinical research laws in Egypt, and Saudi medical device and pharmaceutical laws.Take a read of the edition
Law No. (30) of 2018 promulgating the Personal Data Protection Law (“PDPL”) comes into force on Thursday, 1 August. This means that companies with a place of business in the Kingdom of Bahrain (and companies who process data using means available in the Kingdom) who process personal data need to start complying with the PDPL now.
Having said that, some clarification is needed as currently not all provisions of the PDPL will be effective straight away. This is because under the resolution issuing the PDPL, it is provided that Board of Directors of the Personal Data Protection Authority (“Authority”), will issue the necessary decisions for the implementation of the provisions of the PDPL. However, as it currently stands, the Authority has not yet been established and no implementing regulations have been issued.
Consequently, there are many provisions of the PDPL, including importantly the need to notify the Authority before processing personal data under Article 14, which will not actually be implemented immediately (as there has been no decisions on the necessary rules and procedures).
Nevertheless this does not mean the PDPL will not have legal effect right away. There are provisions of the PDPL that do not require the implementing regulations to be effective. These include:
Although there may not be criminal liability for breaching these provisions, anyone who suffers damage arising from the processing of their personal data in breach of the PDPL is entitled to payment of compensation repairing the damage under Article 57 of the PDPL. This right to compensation appears to come into effect on 1 August.
There are also criminal penalties under Article 58 of the PDPL that do not require implementing regulations. These are:
The penalty in each case is imprisonment for a period not exceeding one year and/or a fine of not less than BHD1,000 and not exceeding BHD20,000. As these are criminal matters, the public prosecutor can take action in the absence of the Authority.
Consequently, although it is not fully implemented, the PDPL does come into force from Thursday, 1 August 2019, and companies processing personal data in Bahrain need to comply with the provisions of the PDPL that are effective from that date.
Al Tamimi’s specialist TMT lawyers and members of our Bahrain office can assist you with the necessary steps you need to take to comply with the new law. For more details on our offering and how we can assist you, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.