Article contributed by Nursyaizan Jasni, Officer, Bar Council Migrants, Refugees and Immigration Affairs; and photos by Florence Laway, Administrative Assistant, Bar Council Secretariat
On 31 Oct 2019, the Bar Council Migrants, Refugees and Immigration Affairs Committee ("MRIAC") organised a Roundtable on Migrant Health Care in collaboration with the People's Health Forum ("PHF"), Monash University Malaysia and Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences. The event took place at the Plenary Theatre, Monash University Malaysia, Subang Jaya.
The objectives of the Roundtable were to:
(1) bring together stakeholders on the front line of migrant health care to strengthen understanding of the problems related to migrant health care and migrant healthcare financing, and examine policy options for solutions;(2) advance the discourse that links work with social protection and healthcare financing for a range of migrant populations including refugees, asylum seekers and stateless people, in developing a universal and sustainable healthcare financing mechanism for this population; and(3) develop policy recommendations on migrant healthcare financing which will be submitted to the Government via memorandum.
The Roundtable was attended by 92 participants from numerous organisations. The one-day event consisted of four roundtable sessions. The welcoming and opening addresses, and closing remarks made up the rest of the programme.
The welcoming and opening addresses were delivered by Prof Andrew Walker, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Monash University Malaysia; Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj, PHF and Chairperson, Parti Socialis Malaysia; and M Ramachelvam, Chairperson of MRIAC and member of the Independent Committee on the Management of Foreign Workers.
The issues discussed at the Roundtable were:
(1) migrant healthcare financing;
(2) access to health care for migrant workers;
(3) occupational health of migrant workers; and
(4) access to health care for non-citizen spouses and children.