Can a worker be compelled to undergo medical tests to prove that he/she does not HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis B, Sexually related diseases, etc... before he/she be allowed to be employed? I do not think so -- and surely it is very very WRONG to do so..
So, why is it being done to MIGRANT WORKERS?
What diseases I do have or do not have, and definitely my medical records is PERSONAL and private - and nobody should have access to it - certainly not my employer.
The only thing that an employer need know, is whether I do have the necessary skills and capabilities to carry out my job function/s. That is all. If my employer terminates me because I have been tested positive for some sexually transmitted disease OR even HIV aids, it is totally unacceptable and unjust.
This practice of "medical screening" of migrant workers is HIGHLY DISCRIMINATORY - and the returning of worker to his home country (or the refusing to renew one's permit) because he has been tested positive for some disease is also totally unacceptable. This practice need to be put to an END.
Some argue that it is necessary to prevent diseases from entering the country through these foreigners - Not rationalle and definitely unacceptable.
For then, I must ask why are we also not doing the same medical screening for the millions of tourist that come through our borders every year?, to those corporate personalities that come to Malaysia?, or even them foreign diplomats that comes through our borders, some from where the incidences of TB,etc is very high?. Were those who came to Malaysia to participate in international events screened first for HIV, sexually transmitted disease, Hepatitis B, etc before entry is given? Are local workers being subjected to medical screening?
The answer is "NO" for all of the above, save for MIGRANT WORKERS, and that makes it very very WRONG.
I am sure the Malaysian AIDS Council, PT Foundation and many other civil rights groups would also not accept this unnecessary "medical screening" of migrant workers -- and definitely not the "sending back" and/or the "non-renewal of work permits" because the tests came back showing that the worker is now POSITIVE for some disease.
I believe these compulsory medical tests/screening are just means and ways to make PROFITs from migrant workers, and/or their employers.
NOW, they are screening migrant workers - but are they also screening the employers as well. After all, diseases can be "transmitted" both ways.
Maybe, all potential employers and their families who wish to employ a domestic worker should also be similarly screen to ensure that they too have a "clean bill of health" -- for after all diseases can be transmitted both ways....
Come to think about it, maybe even all public servants, Members of Parliament, State Legislative Members, Datuk Michael Chong, people who sell things in the marlet and shops, and...maybe everybody could also be sent for compulsory medical screenings --- and then all those with HIV/AIDs, TB , hepatitis B, syphilis. psychiatric problems.... could all be isolated to some "island" so that the rest of us HEALTHY Malaysia could be save....
This suggestion is ABSURD -- and as such, then all medical screening of workers should also be STOPPED.
Wonder how many workers were terminated prematurely because some medical test showed that they had HIV/AIDs, TB , hepatitis B, syphilis, some psychiatric problems, etc.... and how many also did not get their permits renewed by reason of some subsequent medical test showed that they had HIV/AIDs, TB , hepatitis B, syphilis. psychiatric problems.... SURELY they would have a right to claim adequate compensation for the injustice that has be-fallen them...Further, in their cases, it can also be argued that they were infected here in Malaysia..
*** This was the main story in the NST. The main article and several other related articles are attached here below.
2008/05/25 (New Straits Times)