Nafea asks govt to facilitate migrants’ medical check-ups

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Jan 16, 2017-

The Nepal Association of Foreign Employment Agencies (Nafea) has urged the government to facilitate in paying health check-up fees to the Gulf Approved Medical Centres Association (Gamca) without further delay, arguing that the delay in payment has prevented thousands of workers from applying visa. 

Gamca, the sole authorised agent in Nepal for providing health services to migrant workers going to the Gulf nations, has made it mandatory for its medical affiliates to deposit $10 in its bank account prior to conducting health examinations from January 1.

Consequently, Nafea representatives said, migrant workers going to Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain could not apply for visa. Nepal Rastra Bank, the regulatory body, has demanded recommendation of the Ministry of Labour and Employment to deposit the amount to the Gulf-based association. 

“The labour secretary had agreed to write to Nepal Rastra Bank last week. But that hasn’t happened yet,” said Nafea Chairman Bimal Dhakal. The federation claims that more than 15,000 workers bound for Saudi Arabia, Oman and Bahrain have been stranded in Kathmandu. It is mandatory for workers to obtain a health clearance before applying for a visa. 

During a meeting, recruiting agencies and Gamca Nepal, an amalgamation of the Gamca-affiliated medical centres in the country, and MoLE Secretary Laxman Prasad Mainali had agreed not to increase the fee from current Rs5,300. 

However, Gamac-Nepal has been charging workers almost double the fee set by the government. Based on the revision of the medical fees by the Ministry of Health on the recommendation of the Nepal Foreign Employment Medical Association, the government last year set the ceiling on the fees that the medical centres can charge from migrants for pre-departure medical examination. The ceiling set for male workers is Rs2,940 and RS 3,100 for females.

Published: 16-01-2017 09:33

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