Dubai: A hospital dedicated to overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and their dependents that will provide a number of free services will be constructed over the next two years in Pampanga in the Philippines, it was announced on Thursday.

Senior officials from the Department of Labour and Employment will lead the groundbreaking ceremony in San Fernando, Pampanga, on May 1, Labour Day, according to a media statement.

Labor Undersecretary Ana Dione said the establishment of the hospital and diagnostics centre for OFWs is an initiative of Labour Secretary Silvestre Bello III.

The hospital is meant to provide various free services for migrant workers, as well as their families and dependents, in grateful recognition of their contribution to the growth of the economy.

Dione said the hospital can provide free laboratory exam and the required medical certificates for those qualified workers.

“The hospital will be exclusively for OFWs and their dependents. The plan is to provide them with free services when securing their medical certificates, covering laboratory exams and other basic requirements for their overseas deployment. We hope that this will also be honoured by the host countries so we expect a quite extensive negotiation on this,” Dione said.

It is unclear at the time of going to press if other medical services such as regular medical check-ups or other forms of treatment will be available or will be offered for free to OFWs.

According to the media statement, the hospital will be financed by donations and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration, with support from the Department of Health and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.

Construction is expected to be completed in one and a half to two years, following the required documentation. The property where the hospital will rise is a donation from the provincial government of Pampanga.