Materia Medica Malaysiana

December 3, 2007

Fomema fees to be reduced

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 11:58 am

Star: JOHOR BARU: Mandatory medical check-ups for foreign workers will be cheaper in the future.
Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said they were in the process of reviewing the medical fees paid by employers to Fomema.
“The current fees can be reduced. Right now, it costs RM185 for a male worker and RM195 for a female. The Cabinet has agreed that we study this. We are studying how we can reduce it to a more reasonable rate,” he said after launching a book fair here yesterday.
However, Dr Chua refused to speculate on the reduced amount.
He also dismissed a call by a non-governmental organisation to abolish mandatory medical check-ups.
On Sunday, the Coordination of Action Research on HIV/AIDS and Mobility (Caram Asia) urged the Government to scrap mandatory testing for foreign workers and to opt for voluntary testing.
Regional coordinator Cynthia Gabriel was quoted as saying that voluntary testing would help encourage illegal foreign workers to come forward.
Dr Chua said the ministry disagreed with the organisation’s views, as there was still a need for mandatory testing.
“Every year, the Ministry of Health, through Fomema, conducts tests on foreign workers one month after they have landed in Malaysia. We find that 2% to 3% are not healthy.
“At the end of the year, they have to take a second mandatory test, and the results still show that 2% to 3% are not healthy,” he said.
Dr Chua added that there were 25,000 to 30,000 foreign workers, including maids, with infectious diseases who could spread them to Malaysians.
“Can you imagine 25,000 to 30,000 people walking around with HIV, tuberculosis, syphilis and Hepatitis B and C?” he asked.

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