Only healthy foreign workers can work in Malaysia — Dr Dzulkefly

-A +A

KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 17): Only foreign workers who are confirmed healthy and free from any dangerous or contagious diseases will be allowed to work in Malaysia and get a Temporary Employment Visit Pass (PLKS), said Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad.

Dr Dzulkefly said, employers were required to repatriate foreign workers who failed health checks.

“If the employer fails to do so, the PLKS for other foreign workers under the employer will not be renewed by the Immigration Department,” he said during an oral question-and-answer session at the Dewan Rakyat,

He was responding to a question from Datuk Johari Abdul (PH-Sungai Petani) who wanted to know the measures the government had taken to ensure that foreign workers brought into the country actually passed a medical examination recognised by the country of origin of the worker or Malaysia.

Dr Dzulkefly said foreign workers must first pass a medical examination that is recognised by their home country and the ministry’s policy was to verify the health checks on these foreign workers within a month of arriving in Malaysia.

"Foreign workers working in Malaysia are legally required to undergo medical examinations at the Foreign Workers’ Medical Examination (FOMEMA) panel including chest X-rays and laboratory examinations.

“Through this examination foreign workers are screened for Tuberculosis (TB), HIV, malaria, Hepatitis B, leprosy, syphilis, psychiatry, cancer, drug abuse, pregnancy and other diseases such as diabetes (Diabetes Mellitus), high blood pressure and kidney failure,” he said.

However, Dr Dzulkefly said some diseases such as HIV and Hepatitis B have a window period that can last from two weeks to several months or even a year and more.

Meanwhile, the private general practitioners' consultation fee will only be finalised at the Cost of Living Action Supreme Council meeting next month (November), the Dewan Rakyat was told today.

Dr Dzulkefly said the ministry in collaboration with the Department of Statistics Malaysia (DOSM)  had conducted a study and analysis on the impact of the proposed increase in private medical practitioners’ consultation fees on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

“... the results of this study will be taken to the Cost of Living Action Supreme Council meeting which will be chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister.

He was replying to Datuk Dr Noor Azmi Ghazali’s (PH-Bagan Serai) question during the ministers' question time in the Dewan Rakyat regarding the application status of 7,000 general practitioners to harmonise their consultation fees which has not been reviewed for a long time.

Before this, the consultation fees of general practitioners and private doctors nationwide was proposed to be increased between RM35 and RM125, from RM10 and RM35, which has not been reviewed for nearly 12 years. — Bernama