Want to give your helper access to good healthcare in Singapore? Here are some easy ways to help her boost her health
Regular medical check-ups, dental care and mental health programmes are things we enjoy regularly. Wondering how you can give your helper access to the same necessities in Singapore? Check out these organisations, which offer health and well-being services such as annual physicals, dental checks, mammograms, PAP smears and and more for foreign domestic workers in Singapore.
A Note on Healthcare
It’s important to remember that if you opt for a comprehensive physical with extensive testing, there are many possible outcomes from getting these tests done. Of course, the most likely and best case scenario is that your helper is perfectly healthy, or that a simple change can be made — like iron tablets or new glasses. But while we absolutely do not want to discourage you from seeking to improve your helper’s health, we want you to be mindful that should there be an unexpected result – something that needs treatment or further investigation. You need to be prepared.
- Make sure your insurance is up to scratch – the bare minimum will probably not be sufficient should your helper require treatment in hospital. Many insurance plans are less about the health of your helper and more about helping the employer.
- Think about what you are able to help with financially, should there be a negative outcome.
- Discuss with your helper the possible outcomes, and what would happen.
- Find out if she has health cover in her home country. For instance, Filipino helpers are entitled to healthcare under the PhilHealth. They can visit the PhilHealth office at Lucky Plaza or call (+65) 6733 4995 for more information.
$5 Eye Exams at Ngee Ann Polytechnic Optometry Clinic
Ngee Ann Polytechnic Optometry Centre provides comprehensive eye care both to the campus community and the public at a very affordable cost. It’s helmed by experienced lecturers and their dedicated and enthusiastic students from the Diploma in Optometry at the School of Health Sciences, and utilises state-of-the-art equipment and facilities.
Ngee Ann Polytechnic Optometry Clinic, Block 6, Level 1, 535 Clementi Road, Singapore 599489, Tel: (+65) 6460 7716, www.np.edu.sg/optometrycentre
Comprehensive health check-ups and screenings
Dedicated to providing comprehensive healthcare of the highest standard to both international and local clientele, Complete Healthcare International (CHI) provides CHI provides holistic, family-based care in one (very!) convenient location. Located at Orchard Road’s Shaw House, with AsiaMedic Radiology services in the same building, CHI enables families to avoid lengthy wait times and inconvenient referrals. Is your helper due for her 6ME screening? Beat the crowds and sign up for Doctor Anywhere’s Home-Based Domestic Helper 6ME Screening service. The medical team will come to your home to conduct the necessary tests and screenings – yes, even on weekends and public holidays! – and they’ll submit the results directly to MOM if the results are positive or mandated. There’s a $25 flat rate charge, and you can book and pay online.
Breast cancer is the #1 cancer for women in Singapore, and sadly many domestic helpers who are diagnosed with it catch it late because they didn’t get a mammogram. The Singapore Cancer Society’s Mammobus Programme offers affordable mammograms to foreigners at $107 (note that a doctor’s referral letter is required). Screenings are also available at a variety of polyclinics across Singapore (and appointment and doctor’s referral letter will be required).
Mammobus Programme, www.singaporecancersociety.org.sg
It’s worth mentioning that many dentists offer special rates for helpers, even if they don’t advertise this. Dr Oliver at Camden Medical Centre is a well-known option for helpers, but other family favourites like Gentle Dental also offer special rates. Ask your family dentist if they offer free consultations for helpers and make an appointment
Mindfulness & Fitness Classes
Social initiative HelpHer Do Better aims to help foreign domestic workers gain self-esteem and mental wellness through activities like yoga, bootcamps, hikes, book exchanges, wellness workshops by experts, and experience-sharing by fellow helpers. The enterprise also involves expat trailing spouses as volunteers, recognizing that both groups of women can face similar issues of loneliness and self-worth while in a foreign country. During the Circuit Breaker they are even offering online fitness classes on Sundays. FAST (Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training) also offers free dance classes and other fitness sessions at their Community Hall on Sundays. Find a full schedule here.
FAST offers free counselling services to all foreign domestic workers in Singapore. Two volunteer teams from ECTA (the Executive Counselling & Training Academy) provide a listening ear and give helpers the opportunity to talk about any concerns or difficult, stressful feelings that they’re experiencing. Sessions run on Sunday between 11am and 5pm at FAST’s clubhouse in Bukit Merah. Helpers can book sessions online, but you are advised to check ahead for updated rules and regulations in light of continued social distancing measures and restrictions.
FWD Maid Insurance provides all the assurance you need as you hire a new domestic helper, or renew her work permit. Not only are they the first insurer to provide cover for your helper’s pre-existing conditions at no extra cost, they also provide medical and accident coverage for your helper, as well as up to $50,000 of hospitalisation and surgical expenses coverage, which is one of the highest available. On days when your helper has a common cold or cough, FWD is also the only insurer in Singapore to provide cashless outpatient medical treatments at its panel of clinics islandwide for treatments in excess of $10, hassle-free. FWD is also the only insurer to pay the mandatory security bond (up to S$5,000) directly to the Ministry of Manpower without additional payment from the employer. Visit the website to purchase online.
FWD Insurance, www.fwd.com.sg/maid-insurance