MEF objected to the increase in FOMEMA fees, medical examinations of foreign workers are becoming more frequent

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Employers’ Federation (MEF) has objected to the Foreign Workers’ Medical Monitoring and Examination Agency (FOMEMA) increasing the fee rate and the frequency of medical examinations for foreign workers without any discussion with stakeholders.

MEF president, Datuk Dr Syed Hussain Syed Husman, said his side urged the government to take action and discuss with stakeholders about the increase in fees and the frequency of medical examinations as announced by FOMEMA and wanted the measure to be suspended.

He said employers found out about the increase in fees and the frequency of medical examinations of foreign workers after browsing the FOMEMA website.

“FOMEMA announced that effective December 16, foreign workers will have to undergo a medical examination through FOMEMA every year and also increase the price of the examination.

“Previously, foreign workers had to undergo a health checkup every three years continuously and did not need to do any health checkup until seven years after that period. The requirement for a health checkup was then changed to every two years but now FOMEMA changed it to every year,” he said in a statement .

Syed Hussain said the change meant foreign workers would have to undergo a medical examination every year.

“FOMEMA also increased the fee by between 10 and 14 percent. With an estimated two million foreign workers in this country, employers have to bear about RM414 million a year for the medical examination of foreign workers,” he said.

He said that until now there has been no official announcement by the government but the increase in fees and the frequency of health checks for foreign workers was made by Fomema Sdn Bhd, a company licensed to carry out health checks for foreign workers.

For the record, before the announcement of the increase in medical examination fees for foreign workers, the charge by FOMEMA was RM190 for men and RM207 for female foreign workers which covers screening for HIV, Hepatitis B, syphilis and pregnancy, including the use of opiates and cannabis.

The fee has now been increased to RM207 for men and RM217 for women and expanded to three new categories namely filariasis (ringworm), Hepatitis C and methamphetamine.

Last December, FOMEMA set three new conditions for the health screening of foreign workers in the country, including undergoing a drug detection test.

The conditions involved came into effect on December 16 on all foreign workers including newly arrived as well as those who want to renew the employment process procedures.

Based on a statement posted on its official Facebook page, FOMEMA informed that the three new health screening tests are Filariasis, Hepatitis C and Methamphetamine drug detection tests.

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