One of the best perks of living in Singapore is that it is relatively easy to hire live-in maids to help us around the house. From cleaning to cooking, they provide much-needed assistance to our hectic lives. However, hiring a foreign domestic worker (FDW) comes with added responsibilities and legal requirements. One of the legal requirements set by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) Services Centre on domestic help is the 6-monthly Medical Examination (6ME).
This FDW medical examination is a mandatory biannual check-up for our foreign domestic helpers to check for any pregnancy or infectious diseases. Below is a guide to FDW medical check-up in Singapore where you’ll understand the different types of maid medical check-up and how you and your maid can benefit from these FDW medical examinations.
Different Types of Maid Medical Check Up Singapore
Besides fulfilling government requirements, sending your maid for regular medical check-ups helps to ensure that she is healthy and fit for work. In general, there are two types of mandatory medical check ups for your maids:
- Pre-employment Maid Medical Examination, and
- Six-Monthly Medical Examination (6ME).
The medical examinations are designed to screen your foreign domestic workers for four types of infectious diseases (tuberculosis, HIV, syphilis and malaria) and to ensure that she is both physically and mentally fit to work.
Pre-employment Maid Medical Examination
Similar to how we are subjected to pre-employment medical examinations, our potential helpers too would be required to be assessed by a registered doctor within two weeks of her arrival in the country. Your helper will only be issued a work permit once she passes all the mandatory medical tests. If she misses the assessment or fails any of the tests, she will not be issued with a work permit and will need to be sent home.
For transfer maids or maids who are waiting to have their work permits renewed, they will need to undergo the Six-Monthly Medical Examination (6ME) instead.
Six-Monthly Medical Examination (6ME)
Although MOM will post the notification letter and 6ME form when your helper's 6ME is due, it is always a good habit to keep track of the due date by adding a reminder to your calendars. Alternatively, you can always log into MOM's FDW eService portal to check the previous 6ME date to calculate the next due date as well as print the 6ME form.
The 6ME letter will indicate the types of medical examinations required and the due date. If you have other concerns on your maid's health, you may choose to have your maid undergo additional mental health and dental check-ups as long as you pay for these extra expenses.
It is very important that your maid undergoes the 6ME before the due date as failure to do so may result in the cancellation of her work permit. This could lead to unneccessary expenses or even fines as you will have to send your maid back to her home country and start the whole application process again.
However, there are exceptions to the mandatory 6MEs. If your helper falls into any of these categories, she is not required to undergo the 6ME:
- Your helper is over 50 years old; she is only required to undergo the medical examination upon the renewal of her work permit,
- Your helper's employment is ending soon and she will be sent home within one month after her 6ME is due. However, if you intend to keep her for more than a month after her 6ME is due, you will need to apply for a waiver. More details of the waiver can be found here.
A basic 6ME can cost between $60 to $80 annually. Here’s a summary of the average 6ME cost for the various medical tests.
|Medical Tests||Frequency||Average Cost|
|Pre-employment Medical Examination||Once every hire||$80|
|Immunizations Package (Tetanus, Pertussis)||Once every hire||$93|
|HIV||Every 2 years||$30|
|Tuberculosis (TB)||Every 2 years||$40|
|Dental Check-up (Optional)||Semi-annual to annual||$60|
Source of medical costs from ValueChampion.
Home-based 6ME Service
While 6ME is mandatory, it can pose some challenges for families who require their maid's help in caring for young kids, the elderly or persons with special needs. For families who are unable to get extra or alternative help while their helpers goes for the routine check-up, a home-based 6ME service is truly a blessing.
This home-based 6ME service allows your helper to have her 6ME done at the convenience of your home. The test results will also be sent to you and MOM automatically. However, such service is only avalaible for pregnancy, HIV and syphilis tests. Other tests such as TB, mental or dental check-ups will still require your maid to visit an authorised medical personnel.
Here's how to get the 6ME done at home:
- Set an appointment with MOM's qualified service provider.
- Ensure that your maid is at home on the appointment date.
- The healthcare personnel will visit your home to collect your maid's blood sample and 6ME form. For security reasons, always ask the healthcare personnel to produce a staff pass showing the company's name/ logo and their name/ photo for identification.
- After the service provider sends your maid's blood sample to a licensed laboratory, a registered doctor will certify her 6-monthly medical test results.
- The completed 6ME form will then be sent to the employer after ten (10) working days. If your maid was found to be pregnant or had contracted syphilis, the service provider will inform MOM on your behalf.
While these mandatory tests may seem like a hassle, it is ultimately aimed to protect you and your helper as the tests will screen for infectious diseases such as HIV, malaria, tuberculosis (TB), syphilis and ensure that your helper is physically and mentally fit for work. As such, ensure that these tests are done on time and always ask for a copy of all the results so that you are kept aware of any minor or major health problems your helper has and have a peace of mind.
For greater peace of mind, get adequate maid insurance like MSIG MaidPlus which pays up to $50,000 for hospitalisation and surgical fees, including 90 days' pre and post hospitalisation expenses for diagnostic services and treatment in the event of an accident or sudden illness.