SINGAPORE: An employer of a domestic helper took to social media asking others how much they usually paid for their domestic helper’s medical bills.
According to the Manpower Ministry (MOM), during a migrant domestic worker’s (MDW) employment, employers must send her for a medical screening every 6 months. This medical examination screens for pregnancy and infectious diseases such as syphilis, HIV and tuberculosis. The 6ME test results must be certified by a Singapore-registered doctor. Employers must pay for the 6ME and any medical expenses arising from it. All 6ME results must be submitted to MOM. This is regardless of the tests helpers need to take.
All results must be submitted by clinics. Employers or their representatives should not be present during the examination, the MOM added. If their helper did not pass her 6ME, employers must cancel her Work Permit and send her home immediately. Employers must also send their migrant domestic worker (MDW) for a medical examination before they can get their Work Permit issued. They must send their helper for a medical examination by a Singapore-registered doctor within 2 weeks of her arrival in Singapore. They can only get her Work Permit issued if she passes the medical examination. Otherwise, she will have to be sent home.
Responding to the employer’s post, domestic helpers responded, stating varying amounts between $30 to $90. One said: “I return the change every time I go for medical check up 38$ to 45$ not the same that why my boss give me $50”. Another helper said: “Now need X-ray so almost $90. Depends on the clinic, my employer paid”. Another netizen commented: “$25 IIRC. Don’t go to clinics in the malls or atas areas. They have to cover their atas rentals. My helper says previous employer paid much more…. in Bukit Timah area. My place HDB doctor”.
Last month, an employer took to social media asking for advice after discovering that her new helper was ill. In an anonymous post to a support group for domestic helpers and employers alike, the woman said that her 30-year-old helper had only been working for her for a week, and she was a direct hire. The woman added that her maid was good and a fast learner but said that she noticed the helper was quiet and very slow when she walked. Sometimes, when she spoke to her helper, the employer said that there was no response from the maid, which she just brushed off, thinking that the helper was homesick.
“but to my horror today when I brought her for her medical she had very low BP and also the doctor suspected her of being anaemic”, the woman wrote. When the doctor tried to draw blood from the maid, he had some difficulties and asked her employer to send the helper for more tests to check if her helper was Anaemic. Her employer was worried because her helper was a strict vegetarian and “she refuse(d) to eat”. The woman also said that she was “not rich just middle class employer I can’t afford her medical bill if she dt eat and faint what am gonna do?”
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