Frequently Asked Questions

The guidelines by the Immigration Department stipulate that employers must take appropriate steps to renew the work permits of their workers 3 months before their expiry. We would advise employers to place importance on this annual medical examination to avoid unnecessary inconvenience due to last minute registration. We also wish to caution employers that they may be subject to compound/fine by Immigration Department for late renewal.
The quota system was imposed by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to ensure a fair and equitable distribution of the number of foreign workers to be examined under the health-screening program amongst doctors registered with FOMEMA. Each doctor is allowed to examine up to 500 foreign workers annually as directed by MOH. However, the MOH grants approval for exceeding the quota for exceptional cases, where there are insufficient doctors in the locality especially in remote areas, taking into consideration the number of registered doctors with FOMEMA and the number of foreign workers in the area. The MOH provides clear guidelines for the approval of such requests for an increase in quota to ensure that the employers in the affected areas are not inconvenienced. FOMEMA implements the MOH's directive.
The reasons could be that: the chosen doctor may have achieved the stipulated quota for the year; the chosen doctor may not be in service with FOMEMA temporary or the doctor is no longer in practice.
No. It is the responsibility of employers to choose the doctor for their foreign workers' for medical examination. To facilitate the selection by employers, detailed listings of the panel of registered doctors are publicly displayed at all FOMEMA branches or at Doctor Availability page. We stress that, FOMEMA and its staff are not responsible for the selection. Disciplinary actions have been taken against those found doing so.
If an employer provides a valid reason, FOMEMA could change the selected clinic. Otherwise, an administrative fee of RM20 is levied for each change. The fee is a deterrent measure introduced to curb the abuse of our system. It also enhances the integrity and quality of medical examination and minimizes disruption to counter services.
The decision to disallow private hospitals to carry out foreign workers' medical examination is a directive from the Ministry of Health (MOH). However, the MOH permits any registered doctor of a private hospital to carry out the medical examination on foreign workers who are employed by the staff of that hospital.
At that point in time, there are no results to transmit. Foreign workers must undergo the required medical examination at the chosen doctor's clinic and x-ray centre before the doctor can submit the results to FOMEMA. We advise the employers to start the process of medical examination early to avoid unforeseen circumstances or delay.
It is crucial for the purpose of verification of the identity of the foreign workers under this mandatory health-screening program. FOMEMA has detected attempts by irresponsible parties/employers using substitutes to undergo the medical examination on behalf of unhealthy workers. It is our Standard Operating Procedure that doctors must not carry out the medical examination unless the identity of the foreign worker is ascertained.
Only the original passport is the legal document for the purpose of identification under this mandatory annual health-screening program.
No, it is not valid for the purpose of this crucial procedure of verification of identity.
We wish to explain that a doctor is physically only capable of carrying out a limited number of medical examinations per day. As a guide, a through medical examination based on our standard format of medical examination takes about 15 minutes to complete. Therefore, we advise employers to make an appointment with the doctor concerned to schedule the medical examination of their workers if they intend to bring a large number of workers.
This could be happen when either the x-ray findings or the laboratory's test results or both have shown abnormalities and these concerned have transmitted their findings accordingly. Despite the findings of abnormalities by X-ray clinic or laboratory, your chosen doctor had certified your worker SUITABLE. In such a situation of inconsistencies, our system of monitoring automatically detects them and upon our investigation (and based on criteria set by the Ministry of Health), the worker's status will be amended to UNSUITABLE. An example would be where the laboratory test detected the presence of hepatitis B antigen but the doctor chooses to transmit the certification as SUITABLE. This is the essence of the health-screening program under our system, to detect and prevent inconsistencies or likely abuses.
Yes, if we have subsequent evidence that the worker has not met the criteria of SUITABLE certification even though the examining doctor had initially certified the foreign worker as suitable. This mainly arises from our auditing of the X-ray films by our X-ray Quality Control Centre, where the X-ray film was initially misread as 'normal'. In such a situation, FOMEMA will inform the employer, the doctor and the Immigration Department accordingly that the foreign worker's status has been amended to UNSUITABLE.
The medical examination under FOMEMA is a screening program and not definitely diagnostic in nature. The criteria used for certification of foreign workers' health status are determined by the MOH and FOMEMA adheres strictly to them. Doctors who are not as FOMEMA panel for the foreign workers' health-screening program may not have the criteria for certification for SUITABILITY FOR EMPLOYMENT IN THE COUNTRY. A doctor may have the opinion that the worker is fit to work at the time of medical examination despite having detected the likelihood of a communicable disease. Common examples are medical results of workers having indication of pulmonary tuberculosis (PTB) or old PTB which may re-activate anytime after the medical examination. In such cases, the benefit of the doubt is given to the country and not the foreign worker. As such, under the criteria set by the Ministry of Health, the worker will be certified as UNSUITABLE FOR EMPLOYMENT where there is an indication of communicable diseases even though the diseases are not active at the time of medical examination.
When the employers choose the registered doctor, the X-ray facility has already been pre-assigned to that doctor as indicated in the FOMEMA 4-ply Foreign Worker Information form. The X-ray clinics are assigned to the doctors when they register with FOMEMA, based on criteria set by the Ministry of Health taking into account the independence of operation and the integrity necessary under this annual mandatory health-screening program.
Under normal circumstances, FOMEMA will be able to transmit the certification of the medical status to the Immigration Department Headquarters within 10 working days from the date of examination by the doctor of your workers. (Please take note that it is not from the date of registration with FOMEMA) .
FOMEMA is required to transmit the medical status of foreign workers only to Immigration Department Headquarters' database.  The medical status is then re-transmitted from the Immigration Department Headquarters' to the respective state Immigration Departments.  Therefore, a time lapse of some duration may arise when connectivity is affected between the state level Immigration Department and the Headquarters.  In such situation, you can always seek FOMEMA's assistance.
The Government has accepted and recognised FOMEMA as an independent agency to monitor and supervise the medical examination for this mandatory health-screening program. The system of monitoring and surveillance is tailored to ensure the quality and integrity of the medical examination and to prevent likely abuses by agents, employers, doctors and others in the medical examination of foreign workers. In addition, the Government is able to access timely, centralised and nationwide information on the foreign workers' health status for appropriate actions. It is a centralised process to facilitate and coordinate the renewal of work permits nationwide.
Diabetic Mellitus (DM) is a chronic non-communicable disease.  Any foreign worker with DM will require long-term treatment and follow-up.  This will indirectly reduce the worker's productivity because the worker will need to go to health care facility frequently.
To obtain a full medical report of a foreign worker, an employer can request directly from the beginning doctor, provided that the worker has given a written consent as the medical report is deemed confidential.
FOMEMA medical screening is catered for (blue collar) workers only.  Expatriates do not need to go through FOMEMA medical screening.
Foreign worker's medical examination results will be automatically directed from FOMEMA system to Immigration system as both systems are linked.
FOMEMA is responsible to determine whether the worker is suitable or unsuitable. Kindly refer to the Immigration of Malaysia regarding the time frame to send a foreign worker back to their origin country.

PROCESS FOR APPEAL OF FOREIGN WORKERS' MEDICAL EXAMINATION

Only the employer can submit an appeal through the examining doctor.
Employers are to submit the appeal through the examining doctor who carried out the medical examination on the foreign worker
The appeal should be submitted in writing to the examining doctor within two weeks of the certification date or date of amendment of the status of the foreign worker
The appeal process may take up to four weeks from the time of submission of appeal. If the employer does not submit the required investigations within four weeks of the submission of the appeal, the case will be closed.
This will depend on the circumstances of each case as decided by the examining doctor. The examining doctor may require the foreign worker to re-take the X-ray, carry out laboratory tests or undergo a specialist assessment as required by the Ministry of Health. All costs relating to the appeal will be borne by the employer.
The Ministry of Health policy stated that any foreign worker with syphilis (confirmed with TPHA) is not allowed to appeal.  As an added information, the confirmation test (TPHA) is automatically done once VDRL (Venereal Disease Research Laboratory) is detected positive during the medical examination.
If the sub-company or a representative making an appeal on behalf of the authorised employer, the authorised employer has to provide an authorization letter to their sub-company or a representative.
Normally the drug confirmation test take up to 2-3 weeks from the date of the original specimen sent to the testing centre.
Medical status is based on the result obtained at the time of the medical examination.  Therefore, if there is a request to review the medical status, confirmation test should be carry out on the specimen collected on the initial medical examination.

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