The Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) has warned Filipino workers who are due for deployment overseas to secure proper medical screening before leaving the country.

Labor Secretary Silvestre H. Bello III made the reminder following the deportation of 400 guest workers by the Jordan Health Ministry due to various health issues.

“It is imperative for our workers to undergo a thorough medical check-up or screening by Department of Health (DOH)-accredited hospitals and clinics before they leave the country to avoid being deported due to some health restrictions. Some countries abroad are very particular when it comes to health issues,” Bello said.

He cited the advisory released by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) on a Jordan health ministry report from January to November 2016 indicating 185 cases of hepatitis B, 149 cases of tuberculosis, and 66 cases of HIV/AIDS were recorded among foreign workers.

The health ministry also recorded a total of 356,045 guest workers at the directorate for medical check-up, and 457 of them were diagnosed with hepatitis B, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS.

In addition, some 14,633 Filipino workers have also undergone medical examinations, and 35 of them have been found to have tuberculosis while 27 workers are suffering from Hepatitis B.

The report did not indicate the number of OFWs who were deported, but as a policy, workers with HIV/AIDS and pulmonary tuberculosis are expelled while those with extra-pulmonary tuberculosis, but does not affect the pulmonary system, are not expatriated.

It can be noted that during the course of application of a Filipino worker for an overseas job, a medical screening on referred clinics and hospitals should be done as a primary requirement before they can proceed to the subsequent process. This ensures that a worker is healthy and fit to work should they be qualified for the job position they are applying for as they land on their respective country of assignment.

Meanwhile, the POEA has urged overseas job applicants to have their medical tests at clinics and hospitals duly accredited by the Department of Health.

#POEA/Paul Ang

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