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Mandatory medical check-up punishes, not helps, HK-based FDWs

| January 17, 2019

mandatory health check requirement

 

We in the United Filipinos in Hong Kong (UNIFIL-Migrante-Hong Kong) express our strong opposition to the proposed mandatory medical check-up for all Filipino domestic workers (FDWs) in Hong Kong.

On January 8, the Office of Labour Attaché of the Philippine Consulate General in Hong Kong issued a memorandum requiring all accredited recruitment agencies to let FDWs undergo a mandatory pre-employment check-up regardless of their employment status. Hence, whether they are newly employed or have renewed contracts, FDWs will be subject to a pre-employment physical check-up, which will include chest X-ray, stool exam, urine exam, blood tests (Complete Blood Count, Hepatitis B, Sugar, Cholesterol, Triglyceride, Uric Acid, Blood Urea Nitrogen, Creatinine). This order will take effect on February 15, 2019.

The proposed mandatory medical check-up is nothing but a punitive action against FDWs. In the instance that the FDW’s medical check-up result comes out negative, there is no guarantee of cure or health assistance that the Philippine Consulate or Office of Labour Attaché can provide the FDW. Worse, it punishes the FDW further because the negative results might lead them to losing their job.

The memorandum does not seem to guarantee the promotion and protection of the health rights of FDWs but instead an additional burden or even a threat to their employment. It can be likened to the mandatory pregnancy test, which we successfully campaigned the Hong Kong government to suspend.

The current Philippine government has already added more to the OFWs’ burden instead of giving them relief through impositions like the OFW compulsory insurance and reneging on promises like the abolition of the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC).

We call on the Office of the Labour Attaché to immediately rescind this mandatory medical check-up on FDWs in Hong Kong. Be not like the other government agencies that have no regard for the FDWs’ welfare.

No to mandatory medical check-up!

Health protection, not punitive action!

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