POLO offers free medical check-ups for HK OFWs

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The Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Wan Chai

With the increasing number of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) who are getting sick, the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO) is offering free medical check-ups for OFWs at its office in Wan Chai from Saturday until Thursday.

Labor Attache Jalilo Dela Torre said they were offering free tests for blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, Body Mass Index, breast exams, and HIV.

“There is an increase in the number of OFWs who have cancer and who suffered a stroke,” Dela Torre said.

According to data from the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA), the number of welfare assistance cases involving OFWs with medical problems in HK stood at 113 in 2014; increased to 129 in 2015; 244 in 2016; and 416 in 2017.

The free medical exams will be held at the POLO office on the 18th floor of the Mass Mutual Building at 33 Lockhart Road in Wan Chai.

Dela Torre said the free exams will be available from  9 a. m. until 4 p.m. from Saturday until Thursday.

He added that the free health tests began last weekend.

The Philippine Consulate General had been asking the Hong Kong government to require annual medical exams for foreign domestic workers.

According to OWWA data, the number of OFWs hospitalized here in Hong Kong and who were visited by OWWA officers reached 134 in 2014, 100 in 2015, 151 in 2016, and 194 in 2017.

The illnesses reported were stroke (36 percent), cancer (27 percent), tuberculosis/ lung problems (13 percent), mild depression (21 percent), and fracture/ spinal problems (three percent).

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