Indonesian and Taiwanese authorities have both failed to help a paralysed migrant worker who collapsed in the street in Pingtung County after being forced to work for 11 hours a day without any salary, according to the hospital that is now treating her.
And the reason may be that neither wants to cough up for her soaring medical bills, which already amount to NT$200,000 (US$6,605).
The 38-year-old Indonesian was found unconscious in the southern country on June 5 and placed in intensive care at Nanmen Hospital in Hengchun town, Central News Agency reported. Diagnosed with an ischemic stroke and acute renal failure, she was admitted with a temperature of 40.2 degree Celsius and had high blood glucose levels.
Regaining consciousness after one week, the woman was found to be paralyzed on her right side due to the effects of the stroke, though she is undergoing rehabilitation.
According to the hospital, the migrant worker has said she was working legally in New Taipei City and Hsinchu City between 2011 and 2016, but was not given adequate food by her employer. The employment agency did not follow up on her complaints.
Two years ago she ran away from the employer and began working illegally at a hostel in Hengchun. She was forced to work for more than 11 hours a day with only one rest day each month. For the past two months she had received no salary at all.
After eight years away from her family, the woman now wants to go home, but authorities reportedly are not being helpful. When the hospital sought aid from the Indonesia Economic and Trade Office to Taipei, her case was referred to the National Immigration Agency (NIA) as the woman is regarded as an illegal migrant worker.
NIA officials made arrangements to visit the women last week, but failed to show up. Learning that she was now paralysed, the agency instructed the hospital to stop her from running away again. It told the news site that her case was being investigated.