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Preventing Doctors from Issuing Insufficient Medical Leave

6th Jan 2021

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Leon Pereira
MP for Aljunied GRC

Question No. 504

To ask the Minister for Health (a) what protections has the Ministry put in place to prevent doctors from issuing insufficient medical leave especially for blue collar worker patients; and (b) whether the Ministry will set up a whistleblower’s hotline for migrant workers in relation to this risk.

Written Answer

Doctors issue medical certificates based on their clinical assessment and professional judgement on the illnesses and disabilities of the patients. The Singapore Medical Council’s Ethical Code and Ethical Guidelines provides  guidelines that medical certificates must be issued to patients on proper medical grounds arrived at through good clinical assessment, and doctors must not take into consideration extraneous factors such as who pays for the consultation, what benefits the patients may receive or what employers’ preferences may be. Any worker can file a complaint with the Singapore Medical Council or Singapore Dental Council against a doctor or dentist respectively for providing insufficient duration of medical leave.  Disciplinary actions may be taken against doctors for the inappropriate issuance of medical certificates.

All employees, including blue collar workers and migrant workers, are protected by the Employment Act.  They may also seek assistance from MOM if they are concerned that they have not been given sufficient medical leave.

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