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Oral Answer by Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower, to Parliamentary Question on hospitalisation leave

NOTICE PAPER NO. 1270 OF 2018 FOR THE SITTING ON 6 AUGUST

QUESTION NO. 2087 FOR ORAL ANSWER


MP: Ms K Thanaletchimi

To ask the Minister for Manpower (a) whether hospitalisation leave issued directly by community hospitals to an employee is recognised as hospitalisation leave by the employer; and (b) whether the Employment Act will provide for such recognition in light of increasing follow-up visits made by patients with community hospitals directly.

Answer

  1. In our reply to a similar question previously filed by the Member, we explained that in general, community hospitals receive patients that are referred from acute hospitals. Hospitalisation leave certified by a doctor from an acute hospital remains valid under the Employment Act (EA), even if the patient is subsequently transferred to a community hospital. This remains the typical route by which patients enter the community hospital.
  2. Hospitalisation leave issued for patients directly admitted to a community hospital should be recognised under the Employment Act, similar to stays in other public hospitals. However, we understand that only a very small proportion of community hospital patients are directly admitted – that is, admitted without being referred by an acute hospital. Such patients are typically referred by nursing homes or home care providers, and would not be employees in need of hospitalisation leave.
  3. Currently, the EA does not name the community hospitals as among the list of approved medical institutions for certifying hospitalisation leave. MOM intends to work with the Ministry of Health to update this list, and will consult the tripartite partners before finalising it.