Colombo, Oct 17 (UNI) The Sri Lankan government has announced that medical assistance would be provided to expatriate workers who fall ill abroad.
More than 200 Sri Lankan expatriate workers fall seriously ill every year, Minister of Foreign Employment Keheliya Rambukwella said at a signing of an MOU with Sri Jayawardenepura Hospital.
The new agreement would provide medical assistance and free transport to the workers while they would be given priority in the waiting lists for special treatment. All these facilities would be provided free of charge for two weeks.
The ministry along with the Foreign Employment Bureau would draw up a long term scheme to provide life time relief to sick workers later, Daily Mirror quoted Mr Rambukwella as saying.
There were 1.5 million workers in overseas of which 60 per cent were women. More services and relief programs would be initiated for the expatriates, he said, adding that the Ministry was currently having discussions with insurance companies to provide a suitable insurance cover for Sri Lankan overseas workers.
According to the Foreign Employment Bureau, 159 expatriates have been taken care by the bureau up to June this year while 43 have been hospitalised.
Over 56 workers have returned to the island nation after suffering mental illnesses and 39 after becoming physically disabled.