HIMALAYAN NEWS SERVICE
KATHMANDU: Qatar — the most preferred destination of Nepali migrant workers — has decided to adopt Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)-approved medical centres’ reports while hiring workers from 11 Asian and African countries including Nepal.
Qatari decision to adopt GCC approved medical centres will affect the business of 179 domestic medical centres associated with Nepal Health Professional Foundation as the country is the top hiring destination. Qatar is hiring about 30 per cent of Nepali workers in recent months. Last month, the destination had hired around 15,000 Nepalis when the total migrants were 45,164.
The Qatari parliament has approved the proposal of Supreme Council for Health and Interior Ministry last week, the Gulf Times reported. The long pending proposal has approved by the Qatari government, the Gulf Times reported citing medical council source. “It will be implemented soon since the cabinet has endorsed the proposal,” said director of the medical commission Ebrahim Al Shaar.
The decision has angered nearly two hundred domestic medical centres. “We will not accept the decision that only permits medical check up of Qatar bound migrant workers,” said Prabin Tiwari, general secretary of Nepal Health Professional Foundation — that is fighting against GCC-approved medical centres monopoly in Nepal since 2009.
The GCC must accept Nepali law while appointing medical centres in the country but they are violating the law, he said, adding that the federation has challenged GCC in court and waiting for the legal verdict.
If GCC monopoly continues, we will not hesitate to go to street,” according to the federation. “The federation will close all GCC-approved medical centres,” he warned.
Currently, there are 12 GCC-approved medical centres in operation.
GCC is an economic and political union Gulf countries Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
There are more than 200 GCC-approved medical centres in the 11 countries – India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, Egypt, Sudan, Ethiopia, Syria and Eritrea– that are authorised to conduct the tests for a fee fixed at $50.