Singapore to require doctors record maids’ BMI, check signs of abuse as part of routine medical check-up from Aug 29

A half-yearly medical examination will be done without the presence of employers or representatives to allow the foreign domestic workers to speak up if they need help. — TODAY pic
A half-yearly medical examination will be done without the presence of employers or representatives to allow the foreign domestic workers to speak up if they need help. — TODAY pic

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SINGAPORE, Aug 5 — From Aug 29, doctors must record the body mass index (BMI) of foreign domestic workers and check for signs of suspicious unexplained injuries as part of the workers’ half-yearly medical examination.

This will be done without the presence of employers or representatives, to allow workers to speak up if they need help, the Ministry of Manpower said today.

Home-based medical examinations will be banned from Aug 29.

When the new rules kick in, doctors must submit all forms for the examination, regardless of the test results, to MOM.

The new changes are part of a slate of initiatives that were announced by the ministry last month to improve support and boost the well-being of domestic workers here.

Right now, doctors are only required to screen for pregnancy and infectious diseases — such as syphilis, human immunodeficiency virus and tuberculosis — during the half-yearly medical examination for domestic workers.

Among other things, MOM said that the updated requirements will allow doctors to pick up on signs such as significant weight loss for further investigation by the authorities.

Follow-up actions will be taken if worrying signs are detected.

It added that the changes are unlikely to result in significant cost increase for employers.

Employers may visit MOM’s website for more information on the new changes. — TODAY

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