1 May 2019

Maid/FDW's dental and medical

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Home-based six-monthly medical examination (6ME) service
You can get your helper’s 6ME done at home if you meet the conditions.

Your helper can use the home-based 6ME service if she is only due for pregnancy and syphilis tests.

If your helper is due for other tests such as TB or HIV, you'll still need to send her to a clinic for her 6ME.

The home-based 6ME service allows your helper to get the 6ME done at home. This is especially helpful if your family situation makes it difficult for your helper to leave your home, e.g. if you have care-giving needs.

The service will also provide you added convenience:

You will receive the test results when they are ready, and don't need to collect them from the clinic.
You don't need to send the results to MOM, the results will be automatically sent by the service provider.
How to get the 6ME done at home
If you meet the conditions and wish to use the home-based 6ME service:

Make an appointment with MOM’s approved service provider:
Doctor Anywhere
On the appointment date, ensure that your helper is at home.
The service provider’s healthcare personnel will go to your house to collect her blood sample and 6ME form.
Package price: $40.0 (medical examination required at every 6 months to screen for pregnancy and infectious diseases)

The service provider’s personnel is required to produce the staff pass for identification showing the:
Company name and logo
Staff’s name and photo.
The service provider will send her blood sample to a licensed laboratory for testing. A Singapore-registered doctor will certify her 6ME test results.
After 10 working days, you will receive the completed 6ME form. If your helper was found to be pregnant or had contracted syphilis, the service provider will also inform MOM for you. You don't need to inform us.

Last Updated: 1 March 2019, MOM

Responsibility lies with employer if maid's insurance cover is inadequate, Straits Times Forum, 29 Apr 2019
The medical issues involving Indonesian domestic helper Ani Sumarni and her employer, Mr Saw, are sad and highlight the problems that occur when medical bills exceed the insurance coverage arranged (Insurance coverage for maids too low: Agents, NGOs, April 20).

HealthServe's letter proposed several potential solutions to such problems, and I agree that unless insurance companies provide unlimited medical expenses coverage, which they are unlikely to do, there will always be some cases that fall outside of the minimum insurance cover mandated by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), which is $15,000 per year.

MOM's assertion that insurance coverage is adequate in 96 per cent of cases provides reasonable assurance, if not a certainty, in assessing the likelihood of a maid being covered by a medical insurance policy.

The issue of medical claims was discussed in Parliament last year, and one suggestion was that employment agencies should be more proactive in highlighting this issue to prospective employers.  This could include offering insurance plans with higher coverage limits, which are readily available in Singapore.

However, some employers may decline this option, perhaps seeing it as a means to increase sales commission rather than an effort to raise awareness and provide greater protection for their maids.

More public education on the risks and improvements in how these policies are presented and sold in employment agencies may alleviate this misconception.

As HealthServe states, crowdfunding is not the solution to the problem, and the suggestion that the Government fund a scheme misses the point that governments do not fund schemes, taxpayers do.  Hence, any funding would need to consider whether it represents an appropriate use of taxpayer funds, bearing in mind the risk is one that should rest with the employer.

A similar argument could apply to non-governmental agencies that might consider paying for uninsured medical expenses.

Funding by using a proportion of premiums is also problematic, as insurance companies would have to levy this on all policyholders as an added charge to create a separate pool specifically for medical expenses above any uninsured amount.

It is, therefore, preferable to let individuals decide their level of insurance cover and associated risk.  If the cover purchased falls below the amount needed, the employers should accept responsibility for the shortfall.

Graham Spriggs (Dr)

Have simple system that gives maids proper healthcare cover, Straits Times Forum, 24 Apr 2019
There are three considerations worth highlighting when it comes to insurance coverage for foreign domestic workers (Insurance coverage for maids too low: Agents, NGOs, April 20).

First, the unpredictable nature of catastrophic illness or injury means that no matter what the insured amount is, there will always be some workers and their employers who will suffer tremendous financial hardship. Employers are mainly everyday Singaporeans who do not have the financial buffer to absorb the fees for catastrophic health events sustained by their domestic workers.

The Ministry of Manpower reports that 96 per cent of claims are covered by the existing schemes, but this means that 4 per cent of families are at risk of financial hardship through no fault of their own.

Second, having more insurance options, while useful, is not a real solution. What is needed, instead, might be a structural backstop which covers employers' obligations once expenses exceed a pre-identified amount, say, $5,000 or even $10,000. This could be funded by a proportion of premiums, or even by the Government and non-governmental organisations.

Indonesian domestic helper Ani Sumarni and her employer, Mr Saw, were fortunate that crowdfunding platform GiveAsia managed to help raise $49,200, which will help greatly in paying off the hospital bill, which stood at $60,300 as of last week.  But we cannot depend on the vagaries of crowdfunding to protect Singaporeans from financial ruin.

Finally, private healthcare fees are high in Singapore. Foreign domestic workers are not eligible for subsidised healthcare, and these women are of modest means.

Let us establish a simple system to enable them to work here with peace of mind for themselves and the quarter of a million Singapore families that employ them.

Jeremy Lim (Dr)
Chair, Medical Service Committee and Board Member

55 maids a year require medical treatment costing more than $15,000, The New Paper, 20 Mar 2018
Over the last three years, an average of 55 foreign domestic workers (FDWs)a year required inpatient or day surgery treatment that cost more than $15,000, Minister of State for Manpower Sam Tan said in Parliament yesterday.

These cases make up around 3 per cent of the 1,900 cases of maids who sought treatment at public hospitals here in the same time period, added Mr Tan, who revealed the numbers in a reply to questions from Mr Patrick Tay (West Coast GRC) and Dr Tan Wu Meng (Jurong GRC) over help available for employers to foot these "unexpected and huge medical bills".

Within the same time frame, he said there were three to four cases a year of employers who have had to pay medical bills above $50,000 at public hospitals for their domestic workers.

Employers are required by law to purchase insurance plans for their FDWs.  Most basic plans offered by insurance companies cost less than $250 for 26 months of coverage. On average, such a plan will cost about $100 more if the hospitalisation coverage is doubled from $15,000 to $30,000.  The plan also includes personal accident insurance with a minimum coverage of $40,000.

During the exchange, Mr Lim Biow Chuan (Mountbatten SMC) told the House about a private estate resident whose domestic helper sought treatment for a critical illness, raking up medical bills of more than $50,000.  (Winter:  I don't understand why activists want Sporeans to treat FDWs like family members yet the medical cost isn't "family" rate - NOT Subsidized like a Singaporean (eg similar status as the employer)!  Govt wants to save money, how come FDW's employer is required to pay something more than the insurance coverage?  Most FDW's employers don't earn more than ministers so why so nasty and mean to us?  Why treat us like ATM machines, thinking this system is right and not ridiculous?)

Mr Lim said: "He can afford to pay, it is just difficult for me to explain to him that he has to pay that large sum of money for a domestic helper who is really not related to him."  Mr Tan replied that employers can decide for themselves if they would like to take up insurance plans with higher coverage if they are concerned about the risk of higher medical bills.

The Ministry of Manpower will continue to encourage agencies to spread this information to employers to soothe worries over medical costs, said Mr Tan.  He added that help is available for financial assistance - echoing a point that Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say had made in November 2016.

"For those who are genuinely having difficulties to pay the high medical fees incurred by their FDWs, they are encouraged to seek assistance from the medical social workers in the hospitals," said Mr Tan.
Winter: Govt wants to save money, hospital wants to earn.... milk the employers so you think the ill-fated employers can run away without a bleeding?  No matter how hard you've voiced this injustice and protecting your miserable sum of savings... you think employers won't be skinned by all these "strong organisations"?  

Spend such money on myself made me feel like committing suicide, wasting money, dying is better ... spend on somebody else, kill me please!!  

Don't penalise me for being a FDW employer, I have no choice!  Find me an affordable* special needs daycare*/activity centre in the West if you think I am being choosy and demanding
* full day = 7am to 7pm, equivalent to childcare centres, not those operating from 10am to 4pm but charging S$1200/month before means testing and excluding transport cost).  Such timings are putting parents' job at risk!

Dec 2016
Winter:  I wonder are FDWs eligible to use this affordable dental care or in most people's mind, employers are responsible, regardless of how high dental costs are?  Employers get abused mentally and financially .... do we deserve this?  FDWs tagged to us but are charged at private rates for both medical and dental.  In most people's mindset, FDWs' employer are deemed rich, regardless our reason for employing FDW .... be it eldercare or for persons with disability.  Nobody cares to think we're struggling to meet ends and whatever savings to us is important.  FDW is a need due to special needs daycare centre unavailable to my teen.  Is it fair to punish me for bearing a child with special needs and putting high costs on my shoulders?  

Medical and dental care for a small sum, Straits Times, 18 Dec 2016
It is 6.50pm on a Wednesday. In Lorong 23 Geylang, a line of men, all foreigners, forms along a dimly lit corridor. While they wait, some clutch their backpacks while a few play games on their mobile phones.

Nearby, the crowd at a coffee shop builds up. Across Geylang Road at Lorong 18, the pink lights and lanterns of brothels beckon to men who walk by. But the men in the line do not have dinner or physical pleasure on their minds.

Instead, they are waiting to see doctors at a low-cost clinic for foreign workers run by HealthServe.  "The workers pay $5 for each visit," says the group's executive director Colin Chia. "Those who are on Special Pass and not working do not pay anything."

HealthServe has been running the Geylang clinic since 2007. It also has clinics in Jurong and Mandai. Last year, it opened a dental clinic in Geylang, where foreign workers pay $10 for services such as tooth extraction and fillings.

Founded in 2006 by GP Goh Wei Leong and social worker Tang Shin Yong, the charity has 10 staff members and 300 volunteers, and relies on public donations. It focuses on foreign workers who are injured and unable to work while they wait for the outcome of injury claims. It has clinics in Geylang, Jurong and Mandai, a help centre and shelter in Desker Road, a shelter in MacPherson, and a welfare centre in Tai Seng.

The NGO has on its volunteers' roster about 100 doctors and dentists and 180 nurses, pharmacists and clinic assistants. The number of foreign workers who visit its clinics has soared from 2,646 in 2013 to 6,898 in the first 11 months of this year. One reason, says Mr Chia, is that HealthServe is the only non- governmental organisation (NGO) here that provides low-cost medical care for foreign workers.

HealthServe's co-founder, Dr Goh Wei Leong, says he did not start out with a plan to run an NGO .

"We started a clinic because we saw the need to provide affordable medical services to migrant workers," says the general practitioner. "The rest of the services just grew."

A helping hand in a foreign land

A helping hand in a foreign land: Kudos to NGOs that help Singapore's migrant workers
A place for maids to unwind and pick up skills
Singaporeans find ways to bond with migrant workers
A centre with heavyweight backers
Medical and dental care for a small sum
Refuge for maids in distress
Working to improve living conditions
HealthServe was registered as a company limited by guarantee in 2006. "I relied on my network of friends for donations," Dr Goh says.

It became a charity in 2011.

"We wanted to hold a fund-raising dinner and donors asked whether we could issue tax exemption receipts. That prompted us to register HealthServe as a charity," he adds.

HealthServe also runs a welfare centre in Tai Seng where social activities and training classes are held on weekday nights. The workers it helps are those who are stranded after getting injured.

HealthServe manager Eric Lee says this group of workers is the most vulnerable. "They are injured, they cannot work and cannot send money to their families," he says. "They can become depressed."

The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) says on its website that most claims are settled within three to six months, but some injuries need more time to stabilise before a doctor can assess the extent of permanent disability, which affects the compensation. It declined to say how many injury claims made by foreign workers it handles each year or give details on the time taken to process the claims.

Last year, HealthServe gave out $223,320 in social assistance to such stranded foreign workers through free meals, temporary shelter and MRT card top-ups.

It housed 35 workers last year at its MacPherson shelter. In July this year, it opened a second shelter in Desker Road. Mr Lee, who manages the Desker Road centre, says the number of workers seeking help there "shot up to more than 200 cases in less than two months".

To help them, Mr Lee and two centre employees provide free lunches, while volunteers hold social activities. Last month, they took workers to see Christmas lights in Orchard Road. Counsellors are present to speak to workers in the evenings.

Providing affordable medical care to foreign workers and social assistance to workers in distress will continue to be the mainstay of HealthServe's work, says Mr Chia.

Construction worker Ahammad Rubal appreciates the medical and dental services HealthServe offers. The 25-year-old, who has worked in Singapore for two years, paid more than $100 to see a private dentist for a toothache earlier this year.

"(It was) expensive and my tooth (was) still painful," he says. A friend told him about HealthServe and he went to see Dr Winston How, a volunteer dentist, last week. He got a filling and follow-up treatment.

Mr Chia says HealthServe is looking at opening two more dental clinics next year. Last year, it worked with researchers at the National University of Singapore to survey Bangladeshi workers on their diet. The study found over nine in 10 of them were given stale food to eat.

Dr Goh hopes to do more research on the problems foreign workers face, including those they have before coming to Singapore. He says: "This will help us understand them so that we can help them holistically, rather than helping them when they come to us in distress."

Maid with 25 years service, hit employer with $90k medical bill, The New Paper, 21 Nov 2016
For 25 years, Filipino domestic helper Felicidad Muna Mico, 57, has cared for Madam Dora Sern and her three children.

But last month, their roles were reversed.  On Oct 28, Madam Mico suffered a sudden haemorrhagic stroke.  It was the start of a harrowing period for the Singaporean family as they watched their beloved "Felice" hooked to various tubes at Changi General Hospital's (CGH) intensive care unit (ICU) for a week.

Then came another shock - Madam Mico's hospital bills will cost an estimated $55,000.  Madam Sern, 57, shared her helper's plight on crowd-funding site GiveAsia last Wednesday.  So far, she has raised more than $8,000.  The masseuse hopes to raise $86,600. That will also cover the cost of sending Madam Mico home by air, rehabilitation care in the Philippines and basic provisions for her family for a year.

Madam Sern, who renewed Madam Mico's contract for two years in July, was aware that all foreign domestic workers had to be covered by insurance but she did not know the details of the coverage.  She found out only later that her insurance plan covers the minimum $15,000 for hospitalisation.  A check online confirmed that her premium costs about $200 for a 26-month policy.

Madam Sern told The New Paper on Friday: "The insurance was paid each time we renewed her contract every two years.  "It has been 25 years since we hired her, and we are no longer in contact with any agents, so we are not aware that we can pay a higher premium for better coverage."  Madam Mico, who has high blood pressure, has recovered significantly since she was rushed to the hospital last month.

Employers need to buy medical insurance with coverage of at least $15,000 a year for hospitalisation fees such as inpatient care and day surgery during their foreign domestic worker's (FDW) stay here.

This covers 97 per cent of all inpatient and day surgery bills at public hospitals, said Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say in a parliamentary written reply in August.  He was responding to a question posed by Mr Patrick Tay, an MP for West Coast GRC, about the recourse that employers can take if their domestic helper has an underlying mental illness, cancer or critical illness.

Mr Lim added: "For the minority of employers who face genuine difficulties in paying their FDWs' medical bills, they can seek assistance from medical social workers at the relevant healthcare institutions."

He also suggested individual employers could voluntarily buy additional insurance for greater coverage, or send their FDWs for more medical examinations before employment to check for pre-existing illnesses.

Most basic plans offered by insurance companies cost under $250 for 26 months of coverage.  On average, a 26-month plan will cost about $100 more if the hospitalisation coverage is doubled from $15,000 to $30,000.  The plans also include personal accident insurance with a minimum coverage of $40,000.

FDW employment agencies told The New Paper that they usually advise their clients to choose an insurance plan with higher coverage.  Ms Shirley Ng, director of Orange Employment Agency, said most clients choose the basic plans for younger helpers and are willing to pay a higher premium only if they are hiring a helper above 35 years old.  She said: "The increase in premium is marginal, but it can make a difference because if your helper is unwell, she is your responsibility until the doctor certifies she is fit to fly home."

Mr Gabriel Ee, director of Island Maids, said: "Some employers do not see the necessity (for a more expensive plan) and will just buy a basic plan because it is rare for medical bills to go beyond $15,000.  "But it can get painful if you are the exception. The extra coverage will buy you peace of mind."

Winter:  I didn't copy and paste all the Facebook comments.  Many non-FDW employers are unaware that basic insurance has to be purchased before FDW's work permit is approved.  This basic insurance can be upgraded but still unable to cover the full costs (S$90,000) BECAUSE FDWs' medical expenses are charged at private rate, not subsided or same medical class as her Singaporean employer, eg C class patient.

There's so much on our shoulders.  The law isn't in our favour because MOM assumed employers are loaded, felt FDWs are employed not based on necessity but a luxury.  People just felt being able to employ a FDW, means we're rich!  They assumed, to part with SGD90,000 is like 90,000 peso or rupiah.  How come people can be so unfair and prejudice against FDWs' employers?  

Nowadays, I felt abandoned animals are treated better than FDWs' employers/me .... really don't understand human mind and the policy makers' logic.  So sad I have to depend on FDW to play the role of caregiver for my special needs teen.  Don't know how long my teen is living ...  I need to work full-time for a living, need money!  Govt isn't helping us so I can't stretch my hands to get basic living needs/allowance.   

Some people simply didn't get the fact that a diploma holder is already earning S$1900 or more per month.  Many of us have worked many years, regardless 'O' level graduates or Diploma holders ....so our combined salary won't be below S$2000, it would be more than S$4000 per family.  How can educated family be eligible for financial subsidy when the cap per household is set at S$1900?  Many people think too highly of PAP and felt govt has been giving us lots of funding and support.  There are rigid terms and conditions that were intentionally not published in the news.  Many are uninterested to look into it and be fair to us.  When it is time to hammer somebody, we get blood shed/bruises for something beyond our control or not our fault.

Facebook comments:
Heiadayah Abdullah -- This is sad. The good thing the employer did not shirk her responsibility. Admirable

Fyke Tizon Silvano -- If she comes home, she will be assesed through the Kasambahay Law and the OWWA, most probably she'll get 100,000 pesos plus insurance.

Heiadayah Abdullah -- hopefully things took a turn for both the helper and the employer. Pray for the best. If she gets home, prolly the compensation she gets will help her for her medical treatment and road to recovery.

Johnny Tan -- Employers often think that nothing would happen to their domestic helper and think that they will not have major illness when working with them. When such illness strike them and they are faced with huge hospital bills, they start to panic and regret of not paying higher premiums for their domestic helper insurance. Wake up call for all employers. Time to check what the insurance cover for your domestic helper. Never wait for things to happen.

Lee Suping -- Hope the Singapore Ministry of Man Power, the Ministry of Social Services, the Philipines Ambassy, and the Philipinos in Singapore would be able to help this poor woman out of compassion.

Lee Suping -- Who says all employers in Singapore are ill treating their domestic helpers?
Sg should make it compulsory for employers to buy insurance to cover their maid' s huge medical bill in the event of sickness.

Maria Seow Very good employer but make sure buy more insurance as she work so long for you. For her age anything can happen... sorry if everyone comes out to raise fund than what abt we Singaporean even the government don't help so much. I feel very sorry for her but sorry I myself n family too have lots of medical bills to pay. May god bless her with speedy recovery.

Sovino Nurhalim -- Pray hard for the miracle.... Hope the maid speedy recovery n employer don stress too much..... May one of us here do the website for donation regardless of race or religion Or can do every Saturday donation.....

Peter Tan -- Hope she can recover and meet the target soon cos anything appeal online will not go wasted or unnoticed.That is why we should always appreciate the good times when anyone we love is fine and in good health cos we never know when life will take a turn for the worse be it something bad happen or something else.Never take anything for granted good health is one of them.

Suzanne You -- They can afford to employ helper, i m sure they can come out 90k easily , why raise??

Kam Suet Cheng --  Ya, that will set a precedence for the rich to start asking for donations. So, other employers also would ask for donations for their employees' medical costs under their responsibilities?

Lee HT -- Hello, It is S$90,000, not S$90.00!

Agnes Tan Suan Ping -- Hello ...she has grown up children. And the poor helper is only paid $600!!! 7 years with me already $750

Calvin Goh -- to be honest, for a maid to stay that long, more or less its cuz of the kinship. so i doubt the family were actually capable of paying her the market price.
meaning, the helper probably chose to stay and continue serving them despite them having enough to pay her

Chen Marrily Marrily -- They should have a INSURANCE coverage for accident n medical under the work permit law or else how they renew the work permit?

Gregory Tan -- Looking at the cost breakdown indicated...I wonder the air repatriation cost of $47k...or did I see it wrongly? Wow!

Winter:  Employer managed to get web donation to cover her Indonesian maid's medical bill and flight back home.  How many other Sg employers are so lucky and need not fork out so much out of own pockets?  The FDW insurance purchased for some cases are barely enough.  The law isn't in our favour because MOM assumed employers are loaded, felt FDWs are employed not based on necessity but a luxury.  FDWs are tagged to employers yet their medical expenses are charged as private, not subsided or same class as her employer, eg C class patient.
Maid recovers from rare illness, Straits Times, 7 Jul 2016
An Indonesian maid, who was in critical condition after contracting a rare disease that made her skin peel off in patches, recovered after nearly a month in hospital and flew home yesterday.  Her employer, Ms Jobina Tan, had set up a fundraising drive on Web portal GiveAsia to pay for her maid's medical bills and flight back home. It drew nearly $22,000 in donations from 142 people.

"Titin has been working as a domestic helper in our family for the past 12 years," wrote Ms Tan, adding that she was admitted to Tan Tock Seng Hospital on June 10 with swollen eyes and a high fever.  "In a matter of days, her condition worsened drastically. Her throat, mouth and lips were covered with numerous ulcers which caused her to spit out blood... Skin started peeling off from all parts of her body," she wrote.

Ms Titin is believed to have been suffering from a severe reaction to antibiotics. Her wounds resembled those of a burn victim because she had lost so much skin, and even her lips turned black.  Last week, Ms Tan posted on the fundraising page to say that doctors had been trying different antibiotics to find a cure. They managed to treat Ms Titin's scars with a special kind of plaster.

Ms Tan told Lianhe Wanbao yesterday that her employee's medical bills amounted to more than $25,000. She had initially expected to have to pay at least $30,000 on top of the medical bills to send Ms Titin home on a special flight. However, Ms Titin recovered sufficiently for her to take a commercial flight home, although she will still have to undergo treatment in Indonesia.

Winter:  Employers are responsible for FDWs' medical.  The money comes from our pocket yet the medical is tagged as 'foreigner'.  Extremely expensive.  I'm feeling the pinch on my own and family's medical, as well as dental costs as a Sporean, all born in Spore, not converted from other nationality.  With such shocking cost, no subsidy, it is as good as telling me to go and commit suicide then use my insurance payout ... my death money to pay for FDW.  

FDW's well being is more important than my life ... no money don't employ FDW even if it is a necessity for you to have dual income... this is what MOM/activists are trying to highlight.  You die or can't cope with life in Spore, it is your problem!

Cancer stricken Indonesian maid, The New Paper, 20 May 2016
He dreams of pursuing circus arts in an overseas university.  But Mr Marshall Lim, 22, has put his plans on hold, all so he can accompany his maid home to Indonesia to look after her.

The helper, Ms Jariyah, 40, has Stage 4 cancer and has decided to return to her hometown in Central Java to reunite with her family after working for Mr Lim's family for 15 years.  She has taken care of Mr Lim since she joined the household in 1996 when he was two years old. She also took care of his brother, Mayor, who is now 19 and a polytechnic student.  

His mother, Ms Margaret Tan, 49, let Ms Jariyah return to her family in Cilacap once it became clear she has only months to live.  Ms Tan made arrangements to pay for her hospital bills using insurance payouts when Ms Jariyah was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer.  She even raised funds by asking friends to contribute.

"I'm very grateful for that. She even made sure I was eating well. She went through a lot of hard times with me."  When money got tight in 2009, Ms Tan could not keep Ms Jariyah.  Ms Tan said: "I found a good employer for her. She visited at least once every two months when she was with her second employer."  Ms Jariyah returned to Indonesia in 2012 but came back to work for Ms Tan in 2014.  

What would have been a happy-ever-after was cut short when Ms Jariyah started getting sick a year later, often running fevers.  Eventually, she was diagnosed with cancer of the liver last month. It has spread to the lungs and uterus.  They tried treatments and herbal remedies, but ultimately Ms Jariyah decided treatment was "too expensive".

Mr Lim said Ms Jariyah's new house, which she hoped to build with her salary, had been under renovation since January. Due to lack of funds, the work stopped.  

When Ms Jariyah, 40, was diagnosed with cancer, Ms Margaret Tan decided to raise funds for her treatment and for the renovation work on her house back in Indonesia.  Ms Tan reached out to her friends, who donated money to help. She collected about $1,500.

Ms Tan said the domestic insurance covers only hospitalisation and she does not know if it can be claimed.  Ms Jariyah's hospital bills cost $11,000.  Ms Tan said: "We only have $15,000 per year for insurance payout, so we can't afford chemotherapy, which is about $20,000."  Ms Jariyah did not consider chemotherapy as she knew it was expensive. The doctor told Ms Tan that Ms Jariyah would probably have months to live without chemotherapy.

The Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (Fast)also donated a token sum of $1,000 to Ms Jariyah.  Fast is a non-profit organisation which promotes social support and skills training for foreign domestic workers.

Consider subsidies for urgent dental treatment for maids, Straits Times Forum, 23 Dec 2014
I agree with Ms Indrani Das that dental treatment at polyclinics is costly for foreign domestic workers as they do not enjoy any subsidies ("Let maids pay PR rates at polyclinics"; Forum Online, Dec 15).

The problem is compounded by the fact that they do not routinely go for dental check-ups and cleaning, so tooth decay and gum problems are prevalent among this group.

And unlike foreign workers in other industries, they do not enjoy company health-care benefits. Hence, many opt to suffer in silence. They may seek treatment at public institutions such as polyclinics only when they have unbearable pain from extensive decay or acute gum infection.

Those who cannot afford the cost of basic treatment may have to opt for repatriation if the pain renders them unable to work, and their employers are either unwilling or unable to pay for their treatment.

While we should not give foreign domestic workers subsidies for aesthetic and elective treatment, it would be good to look into offering them subsidies at our government institutions for one-off emergency treatments such as extractions and drainage of gum abscesses.

This would significantly reduce their financial burden and allow them to continue working here without having to bear with the pain.

As our working citizens depend heavily on domestic helpers, this would be one way to recognise their contributions to society.

Hong Qixian (Dr)

Let maids pay PR rates at polyclinics, ST Forum, 15 Dec 2014
My maid recently had a gum infection and I had to take her to the polyclinic to see a dentist.  Her tooth had to be extracted and the whole procedure cost $120, as maids fall under the foreigners category and do not get any subsidy.

In fact, the nurse told me that polyclinics are for Singaporeans only, and it may cost less to take my maid to a general practitioner.  To a maid who earns just $400 a month, $120 is a lot of money. It is little wonder that my maid endured the pain for weeks before I made her go to the dentist.

The dentist has also recommended a couple more extractions and perhaps, a root canal.  I would have to either foot the huge bill or send my maid home, which would be a shame as she is a dedicated and hard-working employee.

I understand that maids cannot be given the same subsidy as Singaporeans, but could they not at least fall under the permanent resident category? After all, like permanent residents, maids are foreigners who have come to Singapore to work.

This would help employers, as these expenses are not covered by medical insurance, and also go a long way to lessen the burden on the maid.

Indrani Das (Ms)

Winter: Some people cannot get the facts right but rushing in to step on FDWs' employers.  When was there an insurance policy that allows ALL SORTS of dental claim?  We, Sporeans don't have such insurance policy in the market nor is there similar policy purchased by our companies.

Be it tagged as PR or Sporean rate, dental is costly!
Spare me, don't make me bear maid's dental.  If I need to dig my pocket for somebody else, I will repatriate that maid.  The recruitment costs and ordeal is cheaper than root canal treatment.


Quoted from underwriter ACE (Standard Chartered/Citibank/Posbank):
With rising medical costs, regular dentist visits and preventive care can be expensive. Exclusively for Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited customers, we have designed an innovative and affordable dental insurance plan to help manage the high cost of dental bills, including routine check-ups, extractions and emergency dental treatments.

With preferential rates on a wide range of dental treatments and coverage for routine and accident related treatments, you can be sure that your dental needs are taken care of. Enjoy convenient access to a wide network of dental clinics with preferential rates on a wide range of dental treatments and more.

Did you know?
The cost of a root canal may vary from about $200 for a simple front tooth to about $800 for a molar to back tooth, and they usually require a number of visits.
A dental crown procedure costs around $2000.  While prices of surgeries in Singapore are still significantly cheaper than in the West, they are more expensive than in other Asian countries that have a reputation as medical tourism destinations.

Important Note:
Pre-existing medical conditions will not be covered. There is a 90-day waiting period for any non- emergency or accidental claim. You should seek advice from a qualified advisor if you are in doubt about the suitability of this insurance product. 

By paying for an insurance, what you get for root canal and crowning is up to 25% discount only!  The yearly premium is $435 but you're not given all dental coverage ... worth the cents?

Sadly, all costs incurred by maids are our responsibilities.  Why so ridiculous?  How come activist/PAP didn't say companies need to bear employee's dental fully?  I have a few teeth that need fixing.  To save cost of one molar (avoid root canal), I extracted and leaving a hole.  I can't chew, I am using only one side to chew my food so one side is overworked!  Do you understand my misery?  

If I am rich, do I need to save like a miser ... on myself?  Why govt is not helping me to have cheap dental?  Why dentist are dying to earn easy money?  To fix a molar, root canal + crowning cost about S$4000.  It is more than my one month salary!  I have a few teeth that are sore when I brush or blow cold air, tolerating for years (marvelous?) .... do I have a choice?  Why maids and activists like to behave like no brainers?  They have eyes yet kept it glued.  Life is so harsh yet the educated activist failed to be fair to us 将心比心, 可恶!

Reminder: FDW's insurance doesn't include dental.  There's a cap on medical coverage so employers, don't think that paying $321 for your FDW (each employer has to pay for maid working in Spore, buy a 1-year or 2-year insurance policy + bond .... throughout her employment with you, failure means no work permit) means you don't need to co-pay.  Read the fine prints and terms.

Should You Bite On Dental Insurance?  Investopedia, Mar 16, 2012 (Yahoo news)
There's no question that dental work is expensive - especially when you need to have major work done. If you're not covered through your job, you may have to purchase it on your own. However, purchased privately, dental insurance can be a huge waste of money if your plan doesn't match your needs. In this article we'll show you how to drill through these plans to find out if dental insurance is right for you.

Overview of the System
First, here's a breakdown of how private dental insurance works. You select a plan based on the providers (dentists) you want to be able to choose from and what you can afford to pay:
If you already have a dentist you like and he or she's in the insurance company's network, you'll be able to opt for one of the less expensive plans.

If you don't have a dentist at all, great! You can choose from any of the dentists who are in-network, and again have the option of a less expensive plan.

If your existing dentist is not in the network, you can still get insurance, but you'll pay significantly more to see an out-of-network provider - so much more that you may not have any chance at coming out ahead by being insured.

The monthly premiums will depend on the insurance company, your location and the plan you choose. For many people, the monthly premium will be around $50 a month. This means that you're spending $600 on dental costs each year even if you don't get any work done.

Things to Consider
In a good year when you only need the standard cleanings, exams and x-rays, you are likely to lose about $200 by having dental insurance. While these services will generally be completely covered by your insurance because they are considered preventive care. If you paid out of pocket for them you would probably only spend around $400 for the year instead of the $600 you're spending on insurance premiums.

Will It Be There When You Need It?
What about when you need some work done? In a really bad year, your dentist may inform you that you need a couple of fillings, a root canal and a crown. On top of that, you'll still have to pay for your usual cleanings, exams and x-rays. This is the time to be insured, right? Unfortunately, your insurance may not be as helpful as you'd expect. Many dental insurance plans have very low annual maximums of around $1,000 (this will vary by plan and by provider, of course). This means that once your dental bills exceed $1,000 in any given year, you're stuck paying the rest of the bills in full.
You may still pay a lower negotiated fee for the work you need as a benefit of having insurance, but even the negotiated fees are quite high. For example, if the dentist's regular fee for a filling is $150, the negotiated fee might be $100. In this situation, your regular oral maintenance and fillings will use up most or all of your annual maximum, so only a fraction of your large dental work bill will actually be covered. You're likely to still pay $1,000 to $2,000 out of pocket, plus your annual $600 in premiums. On top of that, while you may pay 0-10% in co-pays on preventive maintenance and 20% in co-pays on fillings, the co-pay on expensive procedures like root canals tends to be a whopping 50%. Even if you haven't used up your annual maximum by the time you need the expensive procedure, you'll still have to pay several hundred dollars for it.

Waiting Could Be Worse
If you're thinking that you'll just hold out and then purchase dental insurance when you need it, think again. Because of what's called a waiting or probationary period, this strategy won't work (you didn't really think you'd found a way to outsmart the insurance companies, did you?). Waiting periods mean that, for example, one year after you first become insured, your insurance will not cover any major work (like crowns or root canals) and for three months after you first become insured, they won't pay for any minor work (like fillings). Insurance companies know that when you need a filling or a crown, you need it now - you won't be able to find out you need a crown, buy insurance, wait 12 months, and then get it taken care of. If you tried to do that, you'd probably suffer from a lot of discomfort and ultimately lose your tooth (and you'd have to pay full price for that extraction, too).

Considerations for Group Plans
Surprisingly, even if your employer offers dental insurance, you might be better off skipping it. Many people assume that employer-sponsored benefits are automatically a good deal because you're receiving a group rate, but this isn't necessarily true. When evaluating your employer's dental plan, make sure to really look at the monthly payments, the annual maximum and the co-payments.

Read: Dental costs

This was posted in my blog.  If anybody has a solution or suggestion to help employer get out of such misery, please contact this affected employer.

There are Citizens who faced Spore high cost of living and decided to forgo filial piety.  A maid, a FDW who is merely a short-term employee in the house, why Employers need to fork out so much -  no limit, no cap, no right or wrong to satisfy FDW/MOM/Hospital?  

FDW didn't do a good job.  She caused problems, she made mistakes, she's NOT MY MOTHER who gave birth to me so why FDW/Maid is given such a good life?  Most companies (MNC and Local) are not required to cover all its employee's medical and dental 100%.  Staff are required to pay cash for dental and foot part of the medical cost. Companies earn money many times more than us but have a cap to their liabilities.  We're merely salaried employee so why we have so much to bear, fully liable for a FDW?  Why maid agency and embassy has nothing to bear for a FDW who is clearly at Fault/Careless/has Pre-existing illness?  

If the unfortunate employer must pay, why the costs are not based on C class rate?  Money comes from employer's pocket, not FDW, agency or embassy so why employers are charged like they are foreigners?  You mean there are certain occasions where FDW or its embassy will foot the big fat bill?  I thought by MOM's regulations, all the costs incurred by maids, be it work related, pre-existing or self-inflicted .... are employers' liability?  So why employers who themselves, are treated in hospitals as C class patients, do not get to pay C class rate for their FDWs?  Why PAP/MOM and hospitals collaborated ... so die-hard to take our hard earned money?  You find this is logical?  Don't you feel this is MOM/PAP's unique way of punishing us for employing FDWs?  Bear in mind, I am not rich or earning as much as ministers.  Hubby and I are merely 'O' level holders so how high can we earn each month based on our low qualifications?  

Are we indebted to maids?
Is this a moral obligation that employer must compromise, even though she/he cannot afford and not at fault?  

MOM/PAP selfishly and cruelly, placed all FDW's employers to be fully responsible for their FDWs.  The medical cost falls on each employer, including citizens who are not earning a lot but hired a maid due to necessity.  She/He is not rich, she/he needed a helper so that she/he could work full-time ... sustain life in Spore.  Although the costs incurred is for the patient having a job title "FDW" but the cost is 100% paid by her/his unfortunate Sporean employer (cash from the employer's pocket and it's non-refundable nor shared by maid/agency) .... so why no subsidy given to citizens with combined household income from S$3000 to S$8000 per month?  

Can PAP/MOM be more human and be less selfish, stop pushing everything to employers?  Can you be kind and fair to your citizens who hired maids due to necessity?  If PAP can give me an affordable special needs daycare center located nearby or with transport provided, I don't need to employ FDW! Also, I don't need to live in fears and subjected to unreasonable costs! Don't forget many citizens are earning much lesser than ministers.  In my case, my salary is about 2% of PM Lee HL's salary! 

Mr Tan-Chuan Jin (year 2013):
The Government does not give any healthcare subsidies to foreigners, including foreign domestic workers (FDWs). When employers bring in FDWs, we must ensure that any medical bills incurred by the FDW do not remain unpaid and get passed on to taxpayers. This would be unfair to society at large.  (Winter: Unfair to Employer (one household only) is better than the society at large - affect the other taxpayers)

Therefore, MOM requires all employers of FDWs and non-domestic Work Permit Holders to bear the full costs of employing these workers, including bearing the cost of their medical treatment. Employers must comply with this condition when they apply for work passes.
In order to help employers meet the financial burden of bearing the medical costs of their foreign workers, including FDWs, mandatory employer-financed medical insurance for day surgery and inpatient expenses was introduced in 2008, for each Work Permit and S Pass holder employed. The minimum medical insurance coverage was set at a basic level in order to keep premiums affordable for the vast majority of employers. Employers who wish to be covered for higher medical bills are free to purchase insurance coverage beyond the mandatory minimum.

We regularly review whether the minimum medical insurance coverage is adequate. In 2010, in response to feedback from employers, we raised the minimum insurance requirement from $5,000 to $15,000. The $15,000 minimum insurance requirement covered an average of 98% of FDW medical bills from 2010 to 2012, and continues to provide a reasonable level of protection for employers, at affordable premiums. The incidence of FDWs requiring hospitalisation care remains low. On average, less than 1% of FDWs were hospitalised at our public healthcare institutions over the last three years.

Employers who still face difficulties in paying medical bills beyond the insured amount may approach the relevant healthcare provider to discuss various options, such as instalment payments. We encourage employers to avail themselves of higher insurance coverage, beyond the minimum requirement, if they wish to have greater protection and peace of mind.

Report on filial piety sparks debate, 27 Jun 2014
When My Paper reported the case of an elderly couple who were forced to apply for a rental flat because their son had turned them out, it obviously struck a chord among Singaporeans.  The report, which appeared on Wednesday, touched on the "outsourcing of filial piety" - when grown-up children feel that it is the Government's job to look after their parents.

It drew some 280 comments on The Straits Times' Facebook page. Two out of three respondents who commented on the topic felt that it was the job of the children - and not of the Government - to take care of ageing parents.

The case of the elderly couple was first mentioned by Minister for Social and Family Development Chan Chun Sing on Tuesday.  A majority were angered by the incident, stating that caring for parents should be a given. One of them is Facebook user Jenny Chai, who said: "Looking after our parents is not the Government's duty. Filial piety is the key to family bonding."

However, about a quarter of netizens raised concerns over high living costs and felt that the Government needed to bear part of the responsibility.  Netizen Timothy Soh pointed out: "The children can't even take care of themselves, much less others."

Facebook user Kava Kaur said that those facing high expenses have "no resources to take care of their parents".  This stance was rebutted by others. "We are not the only generation that suffered the high costs of living," said netizen Lim Xin Mei.  Similarly, netizen Nafeesa Docura felt that filial piety means going beyond bearing the financial burden. "You can maintain ties if you cannot give financial help... They are not mutually exclusive," she said.

Despite financial woes and personal difficulties, many Singaporeans feel that caring for one's parents is a moral obligation that should not be compromised.  Netizen Vani Naidu recounted the difficult times that her mother went through. Ms Vani's mother, a widow for 40 years and mother of eight, lost her house and up to $80,000 to her sons, who had neglected to care for her.  Now, Ms Vani cares for her mother, who has dementia and is bedridden, and she does not mind the burden.

When contacted, Tin Pei Ling, MP for Marine Parade GRC, said that she is "glad that a majority of the people feel that filial piety is important" and that it is a "positive sign".  Ms Tin said that financially capable families should try to bear a higher burden of the cost of caring for their parents.  Having said that, she recognised that families facing financial difficulties should get more support from the Government.

"The Government has a part to play in supporting families," said Ms Tin. "The question is to what extent."

Winter: Safety is in maid's hand.  Your employer is not your parent or babysitter and have to constantly remind you what is dangerous.  You are not a child!  If you died, your family won't be able to touch or see you forever.  When FDW is careless, your employer suffers monetary losses such as well as an unforgettable traumatic experience, while your beloved family will lose you forever!  Don't be so reckless and thoughtless.  Spore is not a modern playground.  

Activists/Ministers/Employers, are you open to risks?  
Can you force yourself to be compassionate to your FDW and be extremely harsh on yourself/family when you're obviously not to be blamed or aware of your maid's crazy/hazard prone acts?  Can safety be compromised or treated like child's play ... at your expense? Example, the water is boiling, maid forgot to turn off the gas and the sprouting water caused the flame to be out, what's going to happen?  I mentioned before, my ex-Indonesian maid couldn't smell the leaking gas, her senses were switched off!  

You told your FDW it is dangerous, she just smile but didn't get the meaning or have the mentality "it won't happen to me" "I'm not that unlucky" "Employers too careful, over paranoid" "Stop nagging", fell from heights and was killed or seriously injured, blame who?  SIP trainer?  MOM for being too pro-maid?  Blame Employers for not leaving their work and watch the maid carry out her chores like an eagle (think we're so free?)?  Bottom line, FDWs have to know how to work safely.  It is MOM/SIP's duty to ensure all maids understand in their native language.  Videos have to be shown to let FDW know once dropped died, she's gone forever. 

You, as an employer or any flat dweller, your life is cheap and worthless, compared to FDWs' well-being!  Citizen fell from heights and dropped dead or injured, that's your problem.  The country leaders, the builder HDB are not to be blamed!  HDB/PAP didn't do anything to protect citizens, all the onus is on employers .... fair?  FDWs are human beings, we are not??  Why maid made mistake or careless, her fault becomes the Employer's?  How come FDW doesn't need to pick up any responsibility?  

All FDWs are suppose to be above 23 years old, why MOM/Activists/Ministers treating them like children and putting her 'guardian', the employer to 'nurse', care and absorb her fault?  Below is not something uncommon.  There's no cap to employer's liability.  Employers are like ATM machines.  When people want money, they can help themselves.  Who is there to protect FDW's employer such as below?  You mean employer has to kill himself/herself or take up loan if he/she has no money to offer to FDW/hospital?

If such a day (huge unfair medical cost befalls) has to happen to me, you can have my life .... and my daughter's! I have enough of all these man-made problems.  Can be solved but MOM/Ministers/Activists simply have no room to spare a thought for us!  MOM/Ministers/Activists treated the FDWs like pampered princesses, whereas Employers are unwanted trash!  The law in Spore has clearly indicated my life has little value!  Given a choice, they would rather protect the maids who appeared more vulnerable and important.

If anybody says why kill myself (and get my girl involved) over a "trivial amount" … this is not small money! If giving up my life and my daughter’s would please the activists, MOM/PAP, why not? I am tired of trying to break free.  People want you dead, stepping on you for fun or just aiming my hard earned money so what's there to look forward to in life, why should I fight hard to stay alive?  Ultimately, I became more miserable, my family gets implicated and my hard earned money went elsewhere!  A debt incurred by a crazy, careless or irresponsible maid .... making me and family slog for her sake?  No way!  Come and claim 2 lives if you enjoy putting stress and unfair financial burden on me!  I don't see a reason why I should donate money to hospital or FDW and be crowned as 'stupid'.  Those who are rich, carry on with our rosy life after clearing your FDW's liabilities/debt. 我累了, 不要说大道理. 事实是我的命不珍贵. 我能不悲观吗?  我过的已够苦 够冤, 没有什么值得我坚持到有一天署光是为了我和我的家人. 我没有好多的青春可挥霍. 我不认为活着就有晴天因为政府不是我家开的! 若聘请FDW是了结此生的唯一出路, 我认命, 决不让其它人从我身上牟利!  走一步算一步, 前面是路还是悬崖, 走下去便有答案.

当我在“预演”未来因为FDW 而丢下一切,成为刽子手,远离我的亲人我竟然哭了。

The New Paper, 8 May 2014
To provide for her family in Myanmar, she came here in January to work as a foreign domestic worker.  Two weeks later, Madam Khin July Moe, 26, fell four storeys while cleaning the windows of her employer's flat and was rushed to the National University Hospital.  She survived, but is so badly hurt her family might now be in a worse off position than they were before she got here.

Married for 11 years with two daughters, she left her family behind to work in Singapore as she needed more money for her ailing mother's medical expenses.  Back home, Madam Khin would only sometimes get work earning her 1,536 Myanmar kyats (S$2).  Here, she was promised a monthly salary between $600 and $800.  The better pay, however, did not help in allaying her homesickness.

When she chatted with her husband on the phone a week later, she said she wanted to go home.  Taxi driver, Mr Zaw Myo Htike, 32, told The New Paper in a phone interview: "She said her employers were good to her, but she was depressed due to the language barrier.  "I told her to be patient and to put up with it for a while because she had already signed an agreement with the agent," Mr Zaw said.

When she was certified fit to travel home by several doctors, she was repatriated with the help of an ambulance operator.  She is now in Yangon General Hospital waiting to be operated on.  Mr Zaw is unsure how he is going to foot her medical bills as she is expected to undergo further surgery in Yangon.  He is also worried that in Yangon her condition may worsen as the medical facilities there are not as good as those in Singapore.

"My wife is conscious. She feels pain in her hands and legs. Part of her skull was cut off. She can't speak as well as before because she can't open her mouth widely."  He conceded all he knew about her medical condition was that she would be handicapped.  The incident has left him regretting allowing Madam Khin to work in Singapore as a foreign domestic worker.

While her situation worries him, Mr Zaw said he does not blame her former employer because he took care of her hospital bills after the accident.  When contacted, her former employer, who declined to be named, would only say that he has been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder since the incident.  He said he had done his best to make sure her life was saved, and had chalked up a huge hospital bill.  Now he just hopes to close the chapter and move on, he added.

As foreign domestic workers are not covered by the Work Injury Compensation Act, Madam Khin can only be compensated through the compulsory Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) policy - something migrant worker groups feel shortchanges the maids.

A Ministry of Manpower (MOM) spokesman said investigations revealed that Ms Khin had cleaned the windows although her employer did not ask her to do so.  She also shared that Madam Khin she did not take the necessary safety precautions taught during the mandatory Settling-in-Programme.  The spokesman said her former employer had paid for her upkeep, maintenance and medical treatment until she was fit to return home to recuperate.  The spokesman added: "In addition, in line with MOM's requirements, (he) had purchased a PAI policy with a minimum coverage of $40,000 and is currently working with the insurer to make a claim for Ms Khin."

Madam Khin's former employer had also been issued an advisory to remind him of his responsibility to provide safe working conditions for maids.  The MOM spokesman reminded employers and foreign domestic workers that cleaning the exteriors of windows is only allowed when the grilles are locked and there is adult supervision.

Copied and extracted from maid's Facebook ...
Please don't ask your maid to clean windows in high risk situation. If they will fall down, the price of your clean windows is a life. It is never worth.

If you're a maid, say NO to cleaning windows in high risk situations. DON'T BE STUPID. JUST SAY NO. To save your own life, sometimes you have to say NO. Say a reasonable NO, and say that you don't want to risk your life.

If you die, or injured, your family have many many more problem than now. JUST SAY NO.

Leah Keh Huier - Yup. I always tell my maid that its not worth it to lose your life over some stupid windows. Its not going to make my life better with sparkling clean windows. I rather she give my back a good massage!

Mharz Mallow - My employers dont want me to clean windows if not necessary....they are aware that it very risky....they often ask me if I love my life then dont clean windows or hang clothes outside. ..

Sharlyn Fernandez - I say yes,before you clean the window make sure the window grill is locked,,im stay 28 floor im doing clean window too..

Minda Morata Libiano oh.my god..my employer say dont clean the window.inside the window can clean.outside cannot.some employers very stupid...

Linda Regina Gill Ladies, your life is more important than your job or your salary or your unhappy boss.
If you are requested to clean exterior windows and you feel it is unsafe or does not meet the safety requirements make a report to MOM.

FB maid - Singapore government has a `safety agreement' which they want the maid and employer to sign. But this is nonsense! Because the employer almost never follow their agreement with the maid, because they are so powerful compared to the maid, the maid can't resist - without a big big fine for the employer, some bad employer will still force the maid to clean windows. If they really want to save lives, then they can just ban cleaning windows in dangerous areas.

Winter:  First time, there's a MP showing concerns for employers!
Mr Zaqy Mohamad, who sits on the Government Parliamentary Committee for Manpower, said the issue should be looked at not just from the employees' perspective, but also the employers'.  "While it seems only humane that employers undertake the medical expenses incurred, there should also be a certain level of protection given to the employers.

"For instance, how much would it cost the employers if this was legislated?" the MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC said.

Read more:
1) Jul 2011, The New Paper
Employer wanted a maid to help take care of her grandchildren. Instead, she ended up with a medical bill of more than $1,000 and a family of 12 exposed to the risk of tuberculosis.

2) Stop pushing the whole buck to employers, Oct 2009
Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Manpower Ministry, Hawazi Daipi, told Parliament: “Employers who make the decision to bring foreign workers into Singapore would bear the cost of their care. Otherwise, hospitals will run deficits which are ultimately paid for by the taxpayer.” 

Many households in Singapore hire maids because of the need to care for the sick or elderly or the young. Making such households bear the full cost of medical care of their maids would only add untold burden to them, especially if the maid is unfortunate enough to come down with a critical illness during her tenure in Singapore.

Mr Hawazi Daipi’s point about hospitals having to run deficits should households be absolved from bearing the full medical expenses of their foreign domestic workers also shows the incredibly mercenery side of our Government.

If maids fall critically ill during their stay in Singapore, it must be the duty of the Government to step in and contribute towards the medical expenses incurred, because such events are completely outside the control of the employer.  It is ridiculous and cold-hearted to force households to take on such potentially large risks on their own. Unlike corporations, households don’t hire foreign help for a profit motive. They do so because the elderly or the young need care.

On one hand, the Government gives out incentives for procreation and enacts blunt laws to punish children who fail to care for the elderly. On the other hand, the Government makes it incredibly risky for individuals to hire domestic help to care for the young and elderly. Where is the logic in this? This is a clear cut case of the Government telling citizens what to do, and then making them shoulder all the risks involved.  Just like in policies such as CPF Life, this is yet another example of the Government shirking its responsibility and making citizens shoulder all the burden.

3) Pre-existing medical condition
One case, in particular, was really unfortunate. A helper had severe stomach pain and was diagnosed with ****.  But, what was shocking was that the girl had to undergo a major operation and she had to be hospitalised for a significant period of time. The medical bill was estimated to be in the region of $35,000.

To make matters worse, the illness was diagnosed to be a pre-existing medical condition. As such, it was not covered under the insurance plan.  Needless to say, if the case wasn’t that of a pre-existing condition, there will be a coverage of $5,000 under the old insurance scheme. With the new scheme, the coverage will be $15,000.  

Unfortunately, if the maid has a pre-existing medical condition, no amount of insurance can help.

4)  Sample: FDW insurance, by INCOME
Outpatient medical - If your foreign maid suffers an injury and needs outpatient medical treatment, we will pay for the necessary and reasonable costs of outpatient medical expenses recommended or asked for by a medical practitioner for your foreign maid to be treated. 

If your foreign maid suffers permanent disability, serious sickness or serious injury which prevents her from carrying out her duties as a foreign domestic worker, we will pay for the transport expenses (air, sea or land travel) needed to send your foreign maid back to her home country.  If your foreign maid dies (including committing suicide), we will pay for the necessary expenses to bury or cremate the body and return the body or ashes to the home country.

INCOME will not pay for the followingor for loss or liability directly or indirectly caused by the following:
If your foreign maid’s death, permanent disability, serious sickness or serious injury is caused directly or indirectly by you or by any of the family members who are living with you. 
Claims for rest care or care in a sanatorium, drug addiction or alcoholism, diseases which need isolation or quarantine under current laws, including any infectious diseases declared by the health authorities of Singapore or in the country that your foreign maid has caught the disease from or by the World Health Organisation (WHO). 
Claims for dental treatment as a result of tooth, gum or oral disease or from normal wearing of the teeth.
Claims relating to a pre-existing medical conditions or physical problems happening before the start of the policy unless your foreign maid had been working in Singapore for more than 12 months in a row.
Any claim due to your foreign maid’s deliberate, malicious, unlawful or criminal act or failure to act.  Your foreign maid deliberately injuring herself, committing suicide or attempting suicide while sane or insane, her criminal act, provoked assault, deliberate acts or putting herself in danger.
Any legal responsibility that comes from an injury or loss or damage to property that you or your family member owns, cares for or controls.

4)  Sample:  FDW Insurance, by Tenet
ACCIDENT or ACCIDENTAL means an identifiable event which is experienced by the Insured Person in a sudden, unforeseen or unexpected manner caused by violent, external and visible means and which solely and independently of any other cause results in Bodily Injury to the Insured Person. 

PRE-EXISTING CONDITIONS means an Injury, Illness or Disease which existed or have developed symptoms or there exists manifestation of the same before the Effective Date of Cover and which the Insured Person was aware or should reasonably have been aware, based on normal medically accepted pathological development of the Injury, Illness or Disease. 

Winter:  What do you people expect the employers to do?  Spoon feed FDWs all the way?  FDWs are hurt, unwell and cannot do their job but employer has to keep you?  By keeping you, she has to bear all your costs!  The FDW insurance policy has lots of terms and conditions so there will be a considerable sum of money that employer cannot claim from insurance company.  If employer needs a FDW but you cannot work, your name tagged to her will cause her application for new FDW to be rejected or costs doubled!  MOM may not take into consideration that there's a FDW tied to the employer but resting in hospital for weeks.... not working but welfare taken good care of.

What makes you think the cost is affordable 小意思 and employer can afford to play angel or be charity organisation?  Do you know that as a citizen, we're already facing high medical costs?  The cost for a foreigner will be even higher ... how to 'eat' such a costs without screaming pain?  

I believe FDW's stroke is not related to work so why employer has to foot the full bill and take care of her life in home country?  Why activist/FDW/MOM so selfish and inconsiderate?  Have sympathy for FDW to what extend?  Any cap?  Why MOM allows maids with pre-existing illness, unsuitable to work or have mental problem to legally sponge on employers?  Who is there to pity such employers?  Who gave activist/FDW the concept employers are rich or have abundant money ... $$ nowhere to spend?

Maid and boss in dispute over stroke, repatriation order,  10 April 2014, The New Paper

Without warning, she was suddenly told to pack her things and that she was being sent back to the Philippines. But Madam Marvi Cabauatan, 41, a maid from Manila, said she was not well enough to work, let alone travel. 

“This was a week after I suffered a stroke,” she said, referring to when half her face was paralysed. She claims that she complied and suffered a second stroke at the airport, which resulted in a stay at Changi General Hospital, where she spoke to The New Paper. Her employers, who are from India, disputed her claims and said repatriating her had nothing to do with her health problems. They also disputed whether the maid had a stroke, and said she had Bell’s palsy, an infection of the nervous system that only affects the face. They also claim that she was an underperforming employee who smoked heavily, asked for advance pay and had damaged some appliances while working for them.

This is the result of unfair MOM policy. There's no cap on employer's medical liability based on insurance purchased. We are merely a salaried person cum employer, a full-time working employee, didn't own a company or earning as much as PM Lee. If FDW is really unwell or unable to work, she should be sent home and not remain in Spore. If anybody disagrees and think FDW is so poor thing, I'd like to know if this is your maid, are you paying S$93,000? Who should be defined as poor thing? Of course it is the FDW's employer!

This illness which probably is hereditary and certainly not due to an injury sustained at work so employer shouldn't be made responsible for the costs. Do all employers (companies) in Singapore pay for ALL its employee's medical expenses? Of course not, there are terms and conditions. Alternatively, look at your own medical insurance, there are also claim limits. There's no such thing as buying a medical insurance and expect the policy to cover everything. This is insane but MOM doesn't want to do something to stop employers from 'bleeding' unnecessarily. Should her country's government be aiding maid's treatment? Or the activists such as HOME help this maid? You want to play angels and talk a lot on humanity, this is the right time to show you care for the 'less fortunate' ... don't talk or comment just for show!

Maid's employer hit by $93,000 medical bill, New Paper, 7 Oct
Employer was straining under the trauma of her husband’s heart surgery when she was hit with a second whammy, one that cost her more than $90,000. Madam Jameela Bee Mohd’s husband was at Changi General Hospital when her maid was hit by toxic epidermal necrolysis, a rare and life-threatening skin condition.

The maid, Miss Nur Umaroh Karwiyahmukhlis, contracted the condition after she sought treatment for gum pain in late April. A few days later, the 26-year-old was in the intensive care unit of Singapore General Hospital fighting for her life.
On May 30 — 33 days later — she recovered, was discharged and returned to Indonesia, leaving her former employer with a medical bill of about $93,000.

This morning, the thought of huge medical or dental (not related to work) falling on my head due to maid, a person who is merely a FDW, employed by a low salaried employee cum FDW’s employer, what can I do?

MOM will insist I must pay although it is extremely unfair.
Who earns as much as PM Lee or ministers, activists and decision makers do not care.
How many earning $10,000 each month and how many employers of maids earned only 1000 to S$3000 per month? Nobody cares to feel and worry for us.
To be a FDW’s employer, that household must have a combine salary of at least $2500 per month.

As a maid’s employer, if MOM is forcing me to pay something ridiculous, I would rather give them my life... I refuse to accept a more miserable life. The fact in Spore is, my life is worthless because we’re not the elites. My life is not precious, incomparable to good life FDW - I don’t get 100% dental and medical from my company yet the FDW gets everything and need not work very hard to KEEP a JOB. Makes no sense. My 贱命is insignificant and will just cause agony to me and family. Preachers will continue to have fun toying with my life and making it more miserable.

If such a day (huge unfair cost befalls) has to happen, I’ll give you my life. I have enough of all these man-made problems, can be solved or lightened but decision makers can't be bothered to look at us .... sincerely and in-depth!

To avoid my family becoming your targets (cost centre), I will leave a death instruction to state clearly, I am not anybody’s wife, mother, daughter or sister. Nobody is related to me and should be held responsible. Let my dead body rots, stinks and irks (I will not die in my own house). I don’t care nor available to care. 要鞭尸或弃置荒野 我无所谓.

Note: This is not a death threat to the Spore govt/MOM. Don’t anyhow accuse me.

It is my only way of showing the definition of unfairness and life is not rosy. I have decided to stop complaining and put up a tough fight …. Got it? When the ceiling wants to crush me, stand there, why should I run for my life when there’s no safe land?

If anybody says why kill myself (and get my girl involved) over a trivial amount/matter … h-e-l-l-o, this is not small money/issue, am I not clear enough? I’m using my life to highlight this fact! I want people to know my life (and my girl’s) means nothing when compared to a maid and it is definitely worth less than S$93,000, not even $1000.

If giving up my life and my daughter’s would please some people, eg activists, maid-protectors, why not? 造福人群,不伟大吗? What for cling on to dear life when I kept being hit/ignored, as a FDW’s employer and a special needs parent?

At least those so call good and kind people which means the activists, maid-protectors, know somebody has been cornered by them and living worse than FDWs.

I will print this post together with my death instruction so that people know this is not a wilful or insensible decision. It is my way to die with dignity and highlight about unfairness. This thought was ‘brewing’ since the day I started facing unsuitable helpers (maids). It didn’t happen suddenly. From the day this post is released into the cyberworld, let people with eyes see, I am Winter, owner of this site and have been facing unfairness for not only one month or one year. People in the safety net are saved but I’m given the slip.

Is it right to make employer as the milking cow, be exploited instead?

Pay fine to feed the 'shake legs people' or fatten some people's pocket? No way, over my dead body!

Be jailed? If I don't have a special needs child, have free food and lodging ... not a bad idea. But with a special needs child, who will care for her, monitor the next maid? I'm sure daddy will be busy making ends meet because he became the sole breadwinner. So?

Commit suicide .... best option! I DON'T ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO BE SO NEGATIVE or depressed. I am sure you've a better future and lights 前途光明, whereas, I don't!! I am not selling the idea of dying is the best solution.

I'm not cruel, this is life, the harsh fact! I want to survive, stay employable but with all the odds ... no thanks, kindly give me freedom to die... I can't go on.

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  1. It is unfair to employers. MOM should cap the cost and make sure the hospitals do not run nonsense tests and pass ridiculous costs to maid's employer.
    Who are we? We are not bosses of any company, just pathetic human beings trying to work and earn a living. MOM should cap medical cost and maid agency fee if they really value and treating us as citizens.

  2. If so bad, why have FDW? If the Govenrment provided more services, we would not rely on FDW.

  3. Interesting blog. This is one of my favorite blog also I want you to update more post like this. Thanks for sharing this article.
    Maid agency in Chennai

  4. Dental and Eye care is often not included in health insurance policies in the US, but can be purchased as additional services on standard insurance plans.
    jetzt clicken


This blog is not meant for screw-lose activists or loans. My blog aims to gather all FDWs' news scattered everywhere, become a one-stop site for mentally & financially bullied FDWs' employer to beware and learn. Don't pollute this blog with your pro-maid, insensible and selfish comments! Activists posting here are BLIND IDIOTS, IRRITATING freaks and deliberately showing no RESPECT for others... robbing our only breathing space.