Employers in Singapore must buy health insurance for foreign workers and their helpers or exposed to the threat of imprisonment and fines under new regulations issued Friday.
Starting in January, employers are required to provide a guarantee of at least 5000 Singapore dollars (3289 dollars) per year if the worker or maid hospitalized or require surgery soon.
Requirements of the Health Ministry to wear to all new foreign workers and maids who enter the city-state, in addition to those already located in Singapore.
Currently there are 645,000 foreigners who obtain work permits, mostly from Southeast Asian countries and India.
Statistics show that most of the foreign worker was hospitalized because of dengue fever, sore appendix and stomach flu.
Employers who do not purchase a policy may be subject to sanctions for more than six months imprisonment and fined 5000 Singapore dollars (3289 dollars), the ministry statement said.
Insurance is necessary because health care costs will rise for a stranger. Subsidies in public hospitals and polyclinics will be withdrawn for all foreign workers starting in January.
“This is something good and it’s too late,” said The Straits Times quoted Jolovan Wham, executive director of welfare group for foreign workers who commented on the new regulations.
Every month, a foreign worker that her employer refused to pay the health costs that signed the group to ask for help, he said.