Care seeking behaviour of Bangladeshi migrant workers in Sarawak, Malaysia

Migrant Workers’ Care Seeking behaviour

Authors

  • Md Mizanur Rahman Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Mohamad Taha Arif Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Razitasham Safii Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Zainab Tambi Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Cliffton Akoi Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Zulkifli Jantan Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia
  • Syahrizal Abdul Halim Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Malaysia

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.3329/bmrcb.v45i1.41808

Keywords:

Care seeking behaviour, Migrant workers, Bangladesh, Sarawak, Malaysia

Abstract

Background: Migrant workers are exposed to vulnerable health risks related to occupational safety, infection and personal health risk behaviours. These vulnerabilities, together with low capacity to pay medical care, and poor access to healthcare, can result in unsatisfactory health outcomes.

Objective: The objectives of the study were to determine the pattern of morbidity and the care seeking behaviour of Bangladeshi migrant workers in Sarawak.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted among Bangladeshi migrant workers in selected districts in Sarawak, Malaysia. A total of 314 Bangladeshi workers were interviewed by face to face using a pre-designed and validated questionnaire. Simple descriptive analysis was done using SPSS version 22.0. However, to supplement the quantitative findings, field notes were also analysed.

Results: The mean (SD) age of the respondents was 35.9 (7.3) years. Most of the workers were engaged in manufacturing job (43%) followed by construction (32.2%) and a variety of job according to the employers' desire (22.9%). The median monthly salary of the workers was MYR 923 with median duration works was 10 years.  One-fourth of the workers (25.5%) had no health insurance, while another one tenth of workers were unaware of health insurance. It was found that 20% had medial ailments in the last two weeks, while 45.2% had physical complaints in the last one month. The most frequent complaints were fever (48.4%) followed by injuries (11.3%) in the last two weeks. About three fifths (57.4% in last two weeks and 60.6% in last one month) visited private health hospitals or clinics for their treatment. Only a few workers visited public hospitals or clinics for their ailments. One-fifth of the workers were self-medicated. While another one tenth of workers visited traditional healer for their ailments. Qualitative analysis revealed a high cost and no scope of bargain as factors which discourage them to take treatment from public hospitals or clinics.

Conclusion: The majority of migrant workers in this study sought healthcare when they fell ill. However, knowledge about health-related insurance was poor and low wage might be significant issues in accessing health care services. The study concluded that workers’ friendly health policy could be instituted for the welfare of the foreign workers’ despite of their awareness of local health services.

Bangladesh Med Res Counc Bull 2019; 45: 47-53

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Published

2019-06-15

How to Cite

Rahman, M. M., Arif, M. T., Safii, R., Tambi, Z., Akoi, C., Jantan, Z., & Halim, S. A. (2019). Care seeking behaviour of Bangladeshi migrant workers in Sarawak, Malaysia: Migrant Workers’ Care Seeking behaviour. Bangladesh Medical Research Council Bulletin, 45(1), 47–53. https://doi.org/10.3329/bmrcb.v45i1.41808

Issue

Section

Research Papers