2 clinics under scrutiny

PHOTO: 2 clinics under scrutiny

SINGAPORE - Two clinics which provide medical screenings for foreign workers are under investigation by the Ministry of Health.

The ministry was following a tip-off that the clinics were allegedly not following proper procedures when examining the workers.

The clinics screen the workers before they are allowed to work in Singapore. It is understood that the complaint to MOM was that the doctors who practise at the clinics certified some foreign workers medically fit without conducting physical examinations on them. It is also understood that the complaint included evidence that workers with heart problems and anaemia were certified fit to do physically demanding work.

The two clinics are run by the same doctors and have a large share of the market providing medical examinations to foreign construction workers and maids.

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) is also working on the same tip-off and a spokesman told The Straits Times that it had "recently received feedback on the alleged questionable conduct of some medical professionals when performing the mandatory medical examination for foreign workers".

"MOM will be taking precautionary measures and contacting the employers to ascertain if the affected workers are indeed fit for employment". This is done to ensure that the workers' health and welfare are not compromised," she said.

The spokesman added that MOM will provide any necessary information for the Health Ministry's investigation.

Foreign workers must pass a medical examination by a Singapore-registered doctor to ascertain if they are fit for work and are also free from four types of infectious diseases - tuberculosis, HIV infection, syphilis and malaria. Work permits are issued by MOM only when the worker passes the test.

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