Health is an utmost importance for human flourishing, and health care is a fundamental human right. Malaysia is widely credited to have achieved universal health coverage for citizens. However, the accessibility of healthcare services to migrant workers is questionable.
According to a research article in 2019, Malaysia is a nett importer of foreign labour, with documented foreign workers consisting 15% of the labour force. Due to their lack of legal status, irregular or undocumented migrants are invisible to policy-makers. Thus, their numbers remain contentious. Migrants mostly work in construction, agriculture and plantations, manufacturing, services and domestic work. These are low-skill, low-wage jobs of less than MYR 2,000 per-month, unfavourable to citizens and crudely described as 3D ‘Dirty’, ‘Difficult’ and ‘Dangerous’.
Before being allowed to work in Malaysia, all migrant workers must pass a pre-departure health test. Moreover, documented migrant workers are also required to pass a pre-employment health examination within the first month of arrival. They are subsequently subject to mandatory annual health examinations as a condition for work permit renewals.
Following these policies, migrant workers are expected to be healthy upon entering Malaysia. However, living and working conditions and exclusion from health services may predispose migrants to poor health.
Abu Hasnat Mohammad Sultanur Reza is a Telecommunications Engineer who has served in organizations in Bangladesh and Myanmar for almost 27 years. Some of the notable initiatives executed by him during his career are: Grameenphone Community Information Center (Rural Internet centers)- later Government of Bangladesh implemented similar model in rural areas, Healthline 789, implemented Tele-dermatology and Online School with CSR of Grameenphone. He also implemented mHealth and Internet Center projects in Myanmar while working with Telenor Myanmar during 2014-2015. Besides, he ran an e-clinic in a rural village in Bangladesh for one year with the support of a local NGO.
Reza has a passion for improving health of the people at the Base of the Pyramid using technology. So, after retiring from work, Sultanur Reza wanted to break down the barriers to make healthcare services accessible for all migrants. “Most of them (migrants) can’t read and write in Malay and English. They also don’t have time to queue up in clinics. Though some clinics operate 24/7, those clinics usually charge expensive fees,” Sultanur Reza shared that Language, Cost and Documentation are major barriers that prevent migrant workers from getting essential healthcare services.
In 2017, he started ClicknCare, a healthcare platform for migrants around the world to seek healthcare services at a reasonable cost anytime, anywhere with a mobile phone. The telemedicine platform enables migrants to consult doctors who speak their languages.
The platform partners with qualified and experienced registered doctors that can communicate in Bangla, Hindi, Urdu, Burmese or Nepalese to provide medical consultations over video calls. Knowing that many migrant workers don’t have a local bank account, the platform engages local stores in factory areas to become the Agents. These Agents collaborates with ClicknCare to supply medicines and help migrant workers to top-up their ClicknCare’s wallet.
Once registered as a user on ClicknCare, migrant workers will need to top-up their account. When they have health queries, they can consult a doctor over a video-call instantly to get quick medical advice. For severe, chronic sickness and health problems, they can book an appointment with specialist Doctors through customer support agents for a proper consultation via video call.
After the consultation, the user receive an online prescription on his/her smartphone. Then, they can visit any clinics, labs and pharmacies to do tests or buy medicines. Some of the common OTC medicines are available at ClicknCare Agents too. Upon requests, the platform also delivers medicine directly to patients at an extra cost.
ClicknCare is currently operating in Kajang and Kuala Lumpur, with eight Agents available around factory areas. The team’s goal is to improve the healthcare services for migrants around the world and to expand ClicknCare into a global platform in six years. They like to be Uber or Grab for Migrants Healthcare. They want to be part of the noble initiative “Health for All”.
ClicknCare has joined ZOM-IN.com to collaborate in efforts to empower aspiring youths. Join us now at www.zom-in.com to participate in exciting events coming soon!