Starting this April, construction companies in Singapore must buy healthcare policies for all their migrant workers.
Costing between $80 and $100 (S$108 to S$138) for each worker a year, the so-called Primary Care Plans (PCPs) give workers unlimited acute or chronic medical consultations and treatments, 24/7 telemedicine services, and annual basic health screening.
The rule applies to all migrant worker in the construction, marine shipyard and process sectors, which employed some 311,000 foreigners in December 2020.
From 1 April, employers must purchase PCPs before new work passes can be issued.
Workers covered by a PCP will have to pay S$5 for each visit to a medical centre and S$2 for each telemedicine session. Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said this “helps to instil personal responsibility for their own health”.
Announcing the measure on 19 February, Singapore’s manpower minister Tan See Leng said: “The PCP is designed to cover most of the migrant workers’ primary care needs, and give them a greater peace of mind when accessing primary healthcare. It will also provide employers with cost clarity and strengthen protection for employers against unexpected healthcare bills.”
The Singapore Contractors’ Association supported the move. Its First Vice President Lee Kay Chai said: “With the PCP, workers will be able to receive quality healthcare that is easily accessible while at the same time ensuring medical costs are kept affordable for employers. This will go a long way in helping to protect and take care of migrant workers who help to build and sustain our economy.”