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FMM ‘disappointed’ over changes to foreign worker medical exams

FMM In The News: FMT, PETALING JAYA, January 22, 2024 - The Federation of Malaysian Manufacturers (FMM) has raised concerns over recent unannounced changes in the fees and frequency of medical examinations required for migrant workers.

It said it was disappointed with the way the foreign workers medical agency, Fomema, and the health ministry had handled the announcement.

“The agency has disregarded the fundamental need to consult with stakeholders before implementing any policy changes.

“This is a critical element of the National Policy on Good Regulatory Practice (NPGRP),” it said in a statement.

FMM said while the NPGRP may not directly apply to Fomema, the agency operating on behalf of the health ministry, it should have followed fundamental principles, including conducting a regulatory impact assessment before making any changes to its rates and frequency.

“A proper communication plan to stakeholders has been disregarded. The announcement about the changes was only made one day before they came into force.

“It was only published on Fomena’s website and social media accounts, without any prior public consultation or communication with stakeholders,” it said.

FMM said the 14% to 15% fee increase will cost employers RM124.2 million annually for 600,000 workers.

Previously, Fomema required foreign workers to have check-ups annually for three years and then every seven years.

However, effective Dec 16, 2023, they must have annual medical examinations.

The fees have also increased to RM207 for men and RM217 for women.

The new tests include those for filariasis, hepatitis C and methamphetamine use, in addition to HIV, hepatitis B, syphilis, pregnancy, opiates and cannabis.

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