Enhancements to Six-Monthly Medical Examination for Migrant Domestic Workers to help detect abuse
On 22 July 2021, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) announced new initiatives to strengthen support for Migrant Domestic Workers (MDWs) and their well-being. As part of this slate of initiatives, the six-monthly medical examination (6ME) will be enhanced with effect from 29 August 2021 to help detect cases of abuse.
2 Currently, the 6ME screens for pregnancy and infectious diseases. Following consultations with the Ministry of Health (MOH), medical practitioners from the College of Family Physicians Singapore (CFPS) and the Singapore Medical Association (SMA), as well as employers and employment agencies, the 6ME will be enhanced to help detect signs of abuse, through:
- Recording of MDW’s body-mass index (BMI). The MDW’s weight and height will be recorded, and her BMI will be calculated. Over time, this will enable doctors to compare against MDW’s past 6ME records, and pick up signs such as significant weight loss for further investigation.
- Checking for signs of suspicious and unexplained injuries. This is complemented by MOM’s and MOH’s guidelines to doctors on what to look out for, and the follow-up actions to take if worrying signs are detected.
- Conducting 6ME services at clinics without presence of employers. To provide a safe environment for MDWs to speak up if they need help, 6ME checks will be conducted without the presence of their employers or representatives. Home-based 6ME will also be disallowed from 29 August 2021.
- Making it compulsory to submit all 6ME forms to MOM. Clinics will now need to submit all 6ME forms, regardless of the test results, to MOM.
3 Employers can visit the MOM website for more information on the 6ME.