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Malaysian government sends workers’ health test standards

  • The move will clear the way for Nepalis to fly to Malaysia for work
- CHANDAN KUMAR MANDAL, Kathmandu

Mar 24, 2019-

After a wait of nearly five months, the Malaysian government has sent the migrant workers’ medical examination standard, which is necessary for implementation of a landmark labour deal that Nepal and Malaysia had signed in October last year.

The Malaysian government on Friday shared the medical examination standard with the Ministry of Labour, Employment and Social Security that would formally guide the implementation of the labour pact before departures of Nepali workers for Malaysia resume.

“During a meeting of the technical joint working group comprising officials from both the countries, it was agreed that the Malaysian government would be sending the medical test standards. It has been finally received, so we will now move ahead to finalise it,” said Ram Prasad Ghimire, a joint-secretary at the Labour Ministry.

The parameters also include the list of medical tests a worker applying to work in Malaysia needs to undergo. A worker would be paying Malaysian Ringgit 260 for the medical test, which would be reimbursed by the employer within three months of the worker landing in Malaysia.

Labour migration to Malaysia has remained suspended for nearly 10 months now after the government decided to scrap all the fees imposed on Malaysia-bound Nepali workers by various agencies via an organised syndicate.

While launching the crackdown on these agencies, the government had declared all those agencies and their services provided during visa processing illegal, leading to a monthslong obstruction in migration to Malaysia, one of the most sought after labour destinations for Nepali youths.

Signing of the much talked-about labour deal was expected to resume the departures. However, it failed to materialise as the Malaysian side did not share the new standards for medical check-up urgently.

With the crackdown, the government had also broken the monopoly of health institutions in issuing health certificates to Malaysia-bound workers.

Earlier, only 39 health institutions conducted health check-ups for job seekers in Malaysia.

Now onwards, all the health institutions meeting the requirements will be permitted to issue medical clearance reports for Malaysia-bound workers, Ghimire told the Post.  

“It has ended the syndicate that existed in medical test institutions. Now it is open for all the medical institutions--both private and government health facilities--unlike in the past when only a select group of them were allowed,” added Ghimire, who is also the chief of the Labour Relations and Social Security Division of the Labour Ministry.

“Even government hospitals can now conduct medical tests for Malaysia-bound workers, if they meet the required standards.”

The ministry official also admitted that the migration of Nepali workers to Malaysia was suspended for long even after signing of the labour deal as the workers’ health test framework was not made available.

As the ministry made its own preparations on the health check-up standards, it also consulted with health experts on Sunday at the ministry.

According to Ghimire, resuming workers’ departures for Malaysia, however, would still take some time as the ministry needs to select health institutions and finalise those interested, after consultation with the Malaysian government.

“We will publish a notice for those health institutions that wish to conduct the tests and issue certificates. There should be a window of at least a month for applicants and then selection would take place, which would require some more time” added Ghimire.

 

Published: 25-03-2019 07:00

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