Kathmandu, Sept 14: The International Organization for Migration (IOM) launched a new online medical appointment system, MyMedical. Migrants in Nepal can now use the platform to schedule their pre-departure health assessments online. They can also access information concerning their upcoming health assessments on MyMedical, as well as contact information for IOM Migration Health Assessment Centres (MHACs) worldwide.
According to IOM Nepal, more specifically, migrants who need to complete a health assessment can use MyMedical to locate their nearest MHAC, view destination country-specific health assessment requirements and procedures, schedule an appointment (selecting their preferred time and date) and manage their appointments.
MyMedical was developed to simplify the appointment process for migrants by providing a quick and convenient means of scheduling pre-departure health assessments with IOM MHACs.
“Migration health assessments are coherent with the IOM goal of ‘healthy migrants in healthy communities’ and, as such, positively impact on migrants’ capacity to integrate fully into receiving societies,” said Lorena Lando, IOM Nepal Chief of Mission. “In addition to health assessment services, IOM recently supported the Govt. of Nepal in developing its national migration health policy which is in line with the country’s newly promulgated 2015 Constitution and sustainable development goal 3.8 – universal health coverage, and aims to address the health rights of Nepali migrants throughout the migration cycle” she added.
Governement of Nepal has included migration health for the first time into its five year plan – the 15th Development plan and has also introduced migration health in the national health policy.
MHACs in Damak and Kathmandu, which have been offering health assessment to migrants (both refugees and immigrants) since 2007 and 2010 respectively, provided health assessments to over 26,000 migrants in 2018.
Migration health assessments are among the most well-established migration management services offered by IOM. At the request of receiving country governments, IOM provides an evaluation of the physical and mental health status of migrants prior to their departure for the purpose of resettlement, international employment, enrolment in specific migrant assistance programmes, or for obtaining a temporary or permanent visa.
Migration health assessments have many benefits, including the early detection and treatment of conditions of individual and public health concern, safer travel and the prevention of negative health events during travel or on arrival at host communities. Additionally, they serve to protect the health of both migrants and host communities and reduce the expected demand for domestic health and social services.
According to a study jointly conducted by the Govt. of Nepal and IOM, about 2.5 million Nepalese were working abroad and over 84,000 were studying abroad at the time of survey – December 2015- June 2016.