Letters | Hong Kong is cruel to remove medical safety net for domestic helpers once contract is over
- The government should consider visa extensions and ensure migrant workers in need have access to public health care, irrespective of their contract status
- The case of Baby Jane Allas, fired after being diagnosed cancer, shows the need to stand with helpers who might develop a serious illness
Allas’ case is not an isolated one. As an institution that has been serving migrant domestic workers for the past 38 years, we have seen this case in different iterations. The past year, a worker was terminated because she developed cervical tuberculosis. There are other cases similar to hers.
Hong Kong’s public health care system is excellent. It is, however, expensive, if not downright impossible to access, for migrant domestic workers once their employment has been terminated. Something can still be done about this.
We ask Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor and the Executive Council to promulgate humanitarian policies to migrant domestic workers in need. Such policies may include extension of their visa and ensuring accessibility of medical treatment.
Can we not pay them back for all their hard work and dedication all these years? Is it not time to assist them in the treatment of the diseases they acquired while working in less-than-ideal situations here in Hong Kong?
Johannie Tong, community relations officer, Mission For Migrant Workers, Central