(Singapore, Feb 19, 2020)Local employers who send healthy employees to hospitals for the coronavirus testing may have their work pass privileges suspended, the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) has reportedly warned.

“Employers who act irresponsibly by misusing medical facilities may have their work pass privileges suspended,” it says after hospitals reported that employers were dropping off workers to have them tested for the coronavirus.

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According to a report by The Straits Times, in a message sent to employers seen by ST on Wednesday (Feb 19), Mr Kevin Teoh, divisional director of MOM’s foreign manpower management division, said the ministry had been getting feedback from hospitals that employers were sending their workers to be tested for Covid-19, as the disease is now known.

ST said it has contacted the Health Ministry for more information on the extent of such behaviour.

Mr Teoh reportedly reminded employers that hospitals will not test individuals who are well.

“This is to ensure that medical facilities and resources are focused on unwell individuals who need medical treatment,” he said.

Normally, a worker who is unwell should be sent to a general practitioner, who will then assess if the worker needs to be taken to hospital.