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Oral Answer by Mr Teo Ser Luck, Minister of State for Manpower, to Parliamentary Question on Review of the Healthcare Insurance for Foreign Workers and Foreign Domestic Workers to Include Coverage for Selective Infectious Diseases, For Example, Pulmonary Tuberculosis

Notice Paper No. 3 Of 2016 For The Sitting On 28 Jan 2016 Question No. 11 
For Oral Answer

MP: Assoc Prof Fatimah Lateef

To ask the Minister for Manpower whether there will be a review of the healthcare insurance for foreign workers/ foreign domestic workers to include coverage for selective infectious diseases, for example, pulmonary tuberculosis.


  1. Employers of foreign workers (FWs), including foreign domestic workers, are required to bear the cost of any medical treatment incurred by their FWs, including pulmonary tuberculosis. If inpatient or day surgery treatment is required, it will be covered under medical insurance that employers are required to buy. The minimum insurance coverage of $15,000 covers 96% of all inpatient and day surgery bills at public hospitals. 
  2. However, conditions such as pulmonary tuberculosis are often treated without hospitalisation and thus not covered by the insurance. The intent of insurance is to help employers cope with inpatient and day surgery bills where bill sizes tend to be larger than outpatient treatment. Mandating insurance coverage to include outpatient bills will raise the cost to all employers. Nevertheless, employers can voluntarily purchase such insurance. 
  3. MOM will continue to periodically review and update the healthcare insurance requirements for all foreign workers and foreign domestic workers.