The Macau government has decided to charge foreign domestic workers lower fees for childbirth after recently proposing increasing the fees for the general population.
Alexis Tam, the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, confirmed on Monday after consultation with Filipino and Indonesian migrant workers groups that the government decided to lower the childbirth fees for low-income non-resident workers in the city, mainly domestic workers, as this group may not be able to afford the proposed increased fees, Exmoo News reported.
In February, the Health Bureau proposed a ninefold increase in the fees charged for non-permanent residents who gave birth in a public hospital in Macau. There was a heavy backlash to the proposal from migrant groups.
Under the proposal, foreign workers would have to pay 8,775 Macau patacas (US$1,086) at the Conde S Januário Hospital, the only public hospital in the city. The current price is $120. For caesarean sections, the increase would have been from $241 to $2,172.
But in the modified proposal for domestic workers who give birth in Macau, the increases would be to $362 for natural births and $724 for caesarean sections, Today Macau reported.
Tam said migrant workers could submit an application to the Health Bureau and Social Welfare Bureau and the government would check their family’s economic situation and get back to them.
Detailed information will soon be announced by the Social Welfare Bureau.