NOTICE PAPER NO.1517
NOTICE OF QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER
FOR THE SITTING OF PARLIAMENT ON 7 NOVEMBER 2022
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Ms Joan Pereira
MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC
Question No. 3704
To ask the Minister for Health in view of the current number of outpatients with the common cough and cold who may still need to show hard copy medical certificates to their employers, whether the Ministry can help alleviate the crunch in GPs and polyclinics by having pharmacists issue medical certificates instead.
Since September 2021, the tripartite partners, MOM with NTUC and SNEF, had issued advisories to encourage employers not to request employees who self-test positive for COVID-19 but are physically well or have mild symptoms to obtain a medical certificate for the purpose of taking paid sick leave. Based on feedback from the tripartite partners, employers have generally heeded the advisories.
Hence, the MTF on 15 October 2022, further urged employers not to require medical certificates from employees who have Acute Respiratory Infection (ARI) symptoms or common cough and cold. This reduces the pressure on our healthcare capacity, and lowers the risk of transmission of infection within the workplace.
As our population ages and disease burden increases, we have to ask ourselves if issuance of medicate certificates for common and minor ailments is the best way to use the scarce medical resources. We should review if the practice that has developed for COVID should be extended to other illnesses with non-severe symptoms.