Tests centres loot poor expats with both hands



ISLAMABAD:  Pakistan Overseas Employment Promoters Association (POEPA) has made a startling revelation that the GCC-approved medical centres are involved in loot and plunder in the name of medical tests of poor overseas Pakistani workers.Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, POEPA senoir vice chairman Capt (R)Naseem Akhtar, Vice Chairman Makail Bangush and Khalid Javed said that a Gulf-cooperation council,  Approved Medical centres Association (GAMCA), is administratively managing 45 medical centres in Pakistan who are departing to Saudi Arabia.

They have made compulsory for Pakistani workers to conduct the medical test from its approved centres before going to Saudi Arabia.The POEPA representatives said that these medical centres are just a source of loot and plunder of the poor workers as their certificates are not being accepted in the Gulf countries, this certificate is only for departure .The medical centres are charging Rs 9,000 for each test, while an additional amount of Rs 2,000 is being charged separately in the name of registration; whereas other laboratories are charging half fee for these tests, they added.They further said that the Pakistani workers were not only passed through mental trauma but great financial loss due to these practices.Neither these medical centres submit the return nor pay the tax so they requested the Pakistani government to establish a Regulatory authority to check the GCC approved medical centres.

They also requested Muhammad Bin Suleman, who is the Ambassador of Pakistanis in KSA, to issue directions to the Saudi Embassy in Pakistan to manage the matters of medical test. They also requested the Prime Minister Imran Khan, who loved the expats, to take notice of the exploitation of the poor workers in the name of tests and stake urgent measures to stop the dirty practice forthwith.

They demanded that the Pakistani government in league with the Saudi government should find out some mutually agreed solution to the serious problems so as these poor workers could be protected from the loot and plunder of these mafias.The Competitive Commission of Pakistan (CCP) had also imposed hefty fine on these medical centers back in 2012 however they got stay from court. The vice Chairman also requested the government especially the CCP to start investigations of these centers as medical centers are involved in cartelization.