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DateLine Wednesday, 17 October 2007

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Bonanza for migrant workers

The Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Ministry jointly with the Sri Jayawardenapura Hospital has taken steps to provide free medical facilities to Lankan migrant workers who return due to illnesses caused while working abroad, Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister Keheliya Rambukwella said yesterday.

Accordingly, an agreement was signed between the Foreign Employment Promotions and Welfare Ministry and Sri Jayawardenapura Hospital at the Ministry yesterday.

The move is aimed at extending more concessions to Lankan migrant workers who bring the bulk of the foreign exchange to the country. The Ministry will settle the unlimited medical expenses if such workers seek treatment at the Sri Jayawardenapura Hospital.

There are 1.5 million Sri Lankans working abroad, especially in the Middle East. Out of this 60 per cent are women, the Minister said.

In addition the Minister said the foreign missions would inform the Foreign Employment Ministry when an employee would be sent for treatment. After the arrival of the patient at the Bandaranaike International Airport, the patient would be taken to the Sri Jayawardenapura Hospital and treated or if needed hospitalised.

As a result of the discussions between the President Mahinda Rajapaksa and the King of Jordan during his recent visit, the government of Jordan had pledged to withdraw "Akama" charge on Sri Lankan Employees.

 

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