a year ago

Low-paid workers face lack of access to care: Report

Gulf states

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Low-paid migrant workers, including Bangladeshis, in the Gulf countries face lack of access to healthcare facilities, according to a new report.

The GCC states' healthcare services are generally not tailored to the specific needs of this population, and there is obvious evidence of discrimination in access to healthcare for migrant workers, with lack of documentation and affordability the most significant obstacles.

The report was unveiled at the National Press Club in the capital on Monday.

Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) and the UK-based Fair Square are researching the causes of unnatural deaths and access to health care among South Asian migrant workers in Gulf countries.

The regional report is part of the research under a project styled 'Vital Signs'.

These accounts, of low-paid migrant workers' access to Gulf states' public hospitals and private clinics for lack of required documentation, are mirrored in the findings of an in-person survey of 1,101 workers in Kuwait between May and July 2022.

It recommended ensuring all necessary health care free of costs for migrants regardless of whether they have documents or not.

Public-health experts insist on the inclusion of transparent and explicit healthcare provisions in all bilateral agreements and memoranda of understanding with GCC states.

At multilateral level, work in coalition with other origin states and outline a detailed position aimed at improving GCC migrant workers' access to health in regional and global fora.

Dr CR Abrar, executive director of RMMRU, presented the findings of the research.

Dr Rashid-E-Mahbub, former president of Bangladesh Medical Association, Syed Saiful Haque, chairman of WARBE Development Foundation, Faizul Hakim Lala, convener of Janasastha Sangram Parishad, Sumaiya Islam, executive director of BNSK, spoke at the programme.

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