Nepal Today

Saturday, June 15, 2013

EMERGENCY DECISION TO RUSH PRESIDENT TO JAPAN FOR TREATMENT; FURTHER DETAILS Kathmandu, 16 June: The head of state Dr Ram BaranYadav Saturday morning underwent a CT scan a hospital in Dhapasi and found a dark spot in the intestine, Nagarik reports... An emergency meeting board met Saturday evening and recommended the president go abroad for investigation and additional treatment.. The board suggested to go to the nearest country. Dr. Yadav has been suffering from stomach ailment for sometime. A reply from the Japanese embassy which has been informed in Tokyo is expected Sunday. nnnn 35, 000 TRAVEL DOCUMENTS ISSUED BY NEPAL EMBASSY IN SAUDI ARABIA Kathmandu, 16 June: The Nepali Embassy in Riyadh, has issued 35,000 travel documents to illegal migrant workers since Saudi Arabia announced amnesty on April 5, The Himalayan Times reports.. However, it is not easy for migrant workers to leave the country due to ignorance of exit procedures. Of the 400,000 Nepali migrant workers in the country, 70,000 are illegal due to various reasons: Either they are runaway workers, have changed profession or have entered the country on tourist visa. The majority of Nepali migrant workers are illiterate, so they do not know about the exit process, said Nepali Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Udaya Raj Pandey. “We have established help desks in major cities and information bulletins to make them aware of the process,” he said. According to him, only a few women migrant workers have applied for travel documents because they have been confined within the four walls of the homes where they work. About 80,000 women are believed to be working in Saudi Arabia and 90 per cent of them are engaged as domestic helps. Kafala (sponsorship) system prevalent in Saudi Arabia bars outsiders from entering the house. Saudi Arabia and Qatar are two countries in the Gulf that issue exit visa to workers. Workers who have applied for amnesty also have to get exit visa from Saudi immigration after no objection letter from police. Police issue the letter after checking cases filed against migrant workers. Kafala law also applies to diplomats of source countries, and that is why the embassy is facing difficulty reaching out to women migrant workers. More than 92 per cent women working in Saudi Arabia have entered the country via India, so they are undocumented in Nepal. Department of Foreign Employment has records of just 688 women migrant workers in Saudi Arabia. The embassy has issued notice to follow prescribed guidelines for leaving Saudi Arabia. We have informed illegal workers of the process. We are disseminating information through media, Non-Resident Nepali (NRN) Association and help desks in major cities. Saudi Arabia announced the amnesty plan under Nitaqat (Saudiazation of labour market) to either become a legal worker or leave the country without any punishment. The oil-rich kingdom has warned that illegal foreign workers risk being slapped with prison sentences up to two years and fines up to 100,000 riyals ($27,000) after the three-month amnesty period runs out on July 3. According to AFP, about 500,000 expats have so far corrected their status and about 180,000, mostly from South Asian countries, have left the country. However, about 1.5 million illegal workers are still waiting to leave the country. Nnnn SELECT HOSPITALS FOR POOR AND NEEDY Kathmandu, 16 June: The Ministry of Health and Population is establishing Social Service Units (SSUs) at eight hospitals this fiscal to assist the poor and the needy, The Himalayan Times The ministry plans to establish the units at Bir Hospital, Maternity Hospital and Kanti Hospital, Bharatpur Hospital and Western Regional Hospital. It has already established SSUs at Koshi Zonal Hospital, Bheri Zonal Hospital and Seti Zonal Hospital. Badri Pokharel, chief of the population division at the ministry, said the ministry is working on a war footing and plans to complete the project in a month. Through these units, the ministry will provide free health care to vulnerable groups, including the ultra-poor people, poor people, helpless people, people with disabilities, senior citizens, victims of gender-based violence and female community health volunteers. Although the ministry is providing free primary health care at district hospitals, the patients have to pay money at referral hospitals or tertiary health care centres for the same, said Pokharel. The hospitals having SSUs shall provide free services to patients from the target groups like in district hospitals. Pokharel informed that establishment of SSUs is in line with the Interim Constitution–2007, which guarantees people’s right to free basic health care. As per a free health care policy, district hospitals, primary health care centres and sub health posts provide 40 types of drugs, 35 types of drugs and 25 types of drugs for free. nnnn


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