UMC Hospital Should Be Accredited By GCC To Carry Out Body Organ Testing For Migrant Workers - UAERA
Ronnie Mukundane the spokesperson of the Uganda Association of External Recruitment Agencies (UAERA) has re-affirmed their declination of the Internal Affairs Minister’s directive to refer clients to the UMC Victoria hospital for organ examinations because it is not approved by the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
Their stance is in response to a May 27, 2022 directive by the Minister of Internal Affairs Rtd Maj General Kahiinda Otafiire instructing all external recruitment firms to take their clients to UMC Victoria hospital owned by Sudhir Ruparelia, for thorough body organ testing and validation to disprove or confirm allegations of illegal organ extraction from Ugandan workers in the Middle East. According to the directive, all Ugandans that intend to export labour to the Middle East must undergo a check for internal organs and trauma injuries before leaving Uganda as well as upon arrival in Uganda.
However, according to the recruitment firms, UMC Victoria hospital is not authorized by the GCC to carry out such tests, and this implies additional costs for their clients.
“The GCC selected medical centers to carry out tests for people going to their countries, specifically Saudi Arabia. But now we got a directive from the Ministry of Internal Affairs introducing a medical center that is not accredited for organ testing,” said Mukundane.
He was adamant that the certified medical centers provide authentic results and therefore cannot be associated with malpractice because the repercussions of forgery according to the GCC would include loss of accreditation but also, the Ugandan government would revoke the hospital’s license.
“We believe that if this medical center is being added to the accredited hospitals, it should follow the right procedures just like the rest of the hospitals. We have no problem with what they want to test but we believe it should be done within the current framework because if a person does medical tests from an uncredited medical center, how sure is the Ministry that the importing country would accept those results?” he queried.
Moreover, he said that the directives about labour exportation are supposed to be given by the Ministry of Gender and Social Development which wrote to the Ministry of Internal Affairs to hold the exercise because it involves additional costs.
“The issue has an element of money. Who is going to pay this money? Remember for Migrant workers, domestic workers are not supposed to pay money,” Mukundane wondered. He explained that Uganda’s government and that of Saudi Arabia agreed that the labour importing country pays 1,100 dollars but questioned who the ministry expects to foot this new bill because those leaving Uganda for the Middle East may not afford it.
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