New affordable healthcare for migrant workers in Singapore

SINGAPORE: The Ministry of Manpower recently introduced Project MigrantWell, a new primary care plan to ensure affordable healthcare services for migrant workers.

The coverage includes medical consultations and treatments, medical examinations for work pass purposes, and 24-hour telemedicine services, which are part of a new primary healthcare system for workers.

The plans cost between SGD108 (USD79) to SGD145 (USD106) for each worker annually. Employers may pay in regular monthly instalments.

Minister for Manpower Tan See Leng said that Project MigrantWell gives greater peace of mind for employers when their migrant workers seek medical care.

Under the new primary healthcare system, an anchor operator will lead the six geographical sectors. Fullerton Healthcare Group, SATA CommHealth, and StarMed Specialist Centre are the anchor operators for five sectors. A non-governmental organisation, St Andrew's Mission Hospital, is the anchor operator for the remaining sector.

"The mix of operators will enable the Manpower Ministry to assess the benefits and strengths that different commercial and NGO operators bring. They will also ensure rapid response to public health concerns in dormitories via mobile clinical teams.

“To minimise language and cultural barriers, they will put in place IT-enabled multilingual translation capabilities and augment the clinical team with healthcare workers who can speak the native languages of our migrant workers," added Dr. Tan.

Migrant workers will be automatically enrolled with an anchor operator chosen in the proximity of their places of residence. A medical treatment fee at the centre will cost SGD5 (USD4). Telemedicine service is charged SGD2 (USD1.50) per session.

Dr Tan said, “Over time, we can draw lessons to build a more resilient primary healthcare ecosystem for migrant workers.”

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