Govt raises medical fees for migrant workers

- POST REPORT, Kathmandu
Govt raises medical fees for migrant workers

Feb 7, 2015-

The government has decided to increase the health check-up fees for outbound Nepali migrants, without consulting the private stakeholders and foreign employment agencies. The decision, which will come into effect from February 13, will add financial burden of around Rs 300 on each migrant worker.

Under the medical fees revised by the Ministry of Health based on the recommendation of the Nepal Foreign Employment Medical Association (NeFMA), male workers will have to pay Rs 2,940 from the previous Rs 2,625. Female migrant workers, who are paying Rs 2,900, will have to pay Rs 3,100.

The Ministry of Labour and Employment (MoLE) has also endorsed the decision. A notice issued by the MoLE to the Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies (NAFEA) has mentioned that the decision was taken by State Minister for Labour Tek Bahadur Gurung on February 1.

Tirtha Raj KC, MoLE under secretary, has said that the rates were fixed as per the recommendation of NeFMA and a special committee comprising health experts and other stakeholders.

“The medical centres should provide the required medical services under the new rates which cannot be revised for another two years,” reads the statement issued by NeFMA.

NeFMA has also called a meeting of the stakeholders to discuss the new decision and its implementation.

Kailash Khadka, NeFMA chairman, said that they had been requesting for revision of the fees, as they were providing the service at the same rates for a long time.

Meanwhile, NAFEA representatives have objected the decision, saying that their views were not sought while reaching the decision.

They said the increase in medical fees will add burden on the workers who are already being charged high rates for poor service.

“We were informed about the decision at the last hour. There should be a guarantee of better facilities with new rate,” Nefea General Secretary Kumud Khanal said, adding that  hundreds of migrant workers are returning after failing to pass medical examination in work destinations.

It is said that one out of ten migrant workers return

within a month of their departure after failing to pass

medical test.

“ NeFMA has stopped compensating such workers due to huge outflow of workers who are sent home due to their misreporting. The defective medical check-up has forced many workers to lose time and money,” Khanal said.  

Officials at the Department of Foreign Employment said many medical centres are issuing certificate without proper check-ups. They claimed that half of the medical centres in Kathmandu Valley fall short of government standard.


Published: 08-02-2015 09:02

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