Employers May Lose Work Pass Privileges If They Send Healthy Workers To Hospital For Covid-19 Tests

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has released a warning for employers: stop sending healthy employees to hospital for Covid-19 tests, or face repercussions.

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This follows an apparent spate of recent reports that employers have been sending foreign employees in for tests even though they’re healthy, reported The Straits Times (ST).

MOM has allegedly threatened to suspend work pass privileges for employers who flout these instructions.

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Hospitals won’t test healthy persons, as priority goes to those who require treatment.

Covid-19 procedure is to go to a GP first

What employers should do, in the event that a worker is unwell, is send him or her to a general practitioner (GP) first. The GP will then decide if they should be sent to hospital for further testing.

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Under no circumstance should employers bring in healthy individuals for testing ‘just in case’, as this may deny others the medical attention that they need.

Rather than helping to ease the situation, they might end up obstructing urgent medical cases instead.

Hospitals are for medical emergencies only

Beyond facilitating smooth hospital operations, employers have other important roles to play in proactively fighting Covid-19.

MOM advises employers to keep watch over their employees’ health. They should enforce twice-daily temperature checks, and institute good personal hygiene practices.

Finally, employers are encouraged to be more civic-minded. Divisional director of foreign manpower in MOM, Mr Teoh, told ST:

We encourage you to be socially responsible and only send workers to the hospital if it is a medical emergency, as doing so otherwise will deny immediate treatment to those who need it.

We wouldn’t want to end up in a situation where hospitals run out of manpower to attend to Covid-19 or other serious cases, so let’s heed Mr Teoh’s advice.

Featured image adapted from Facebook.