MoU to establish Health Evaluation Programme for Resident Visa Applicants

A MoU is to be signed between the International Organization of Migration (IOM) and the Ministry of Health and Indigenous Medicine to establish and implement a Health Evaluation Programme for Resident Visa Applicants to Sri Lanka.

Cabinet granted approval to the MoU this week.

Sri Lanka’s National Migration Health Policy was developed and launched in 2013 to address challenges in the health sector due to a multi-faceted migration profile which includes outbound migration, inbound migration, international migration and health and social issues of families left behind of labour migrants.

Whilst extending universal health coverage to all who enter the country, immigrants may also introduce new diseases, reintroduce diseases which have been eliminated or be a reason for the increase in low prevalent diseases in the country, stated a Cabinet Paper submitted by Health and Indigenous Medicine Minister Rajitha Senaratne.

“Sri Lanka receives 40,000 long stay or resident visa applications per year and around 60 percent of them are from migrant workers arriving from countries with higher disease burden than Sri Lanka. Currently, there is no process to assess their health status and nor are they requested to obtain a health insurance to cover their health expenditure while they are in Sri Lanka,” the Minister said.

“The objective of the MoU is to facilitate the establishment of a health assessment process to achieve a healthy migrant population through public health approach including early diagnosis, treatment, referral and follow up of resident visa applicants,” Minister Senaratne said.

The proposed MoU will be valid for a period of three years and would spell out the roles and responsibilities of the two parties concerned.


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