Doctors can help deter maid abuse

Doctors are at the front line when it comes to detecting maids who have been abused, and can help stem what seems to be an escalating trend (DPP seeks maximum jail term for maid abusers; Feb 24).

Foreign domestic maids have to go for medical check-ups every six months, to check for pregnancy and social diseases.

However, we hardly see any cases of these, possibly because the medical examinations would prove to be a deterrent against misdeeds.

It would not be difficult for the Ministry of Manpower to come up with a checklist for the doctor to go through with the maid during the check-up to ascertain her well-being.

It is illegal for an employer to abuse a maid, whether physically or verbally.

A doctor needs only a few minutes to determine whether this has occurred and if a further referral is needed.

Doctors should not be held liable for missing cases of maid abuse.

But, in holding up their social responsibility, doctors can be a deterrent against such a foul act.

Yik Keng Yeong (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 27, 2017, with the headline 'Doctors can help deter maid abuse'. Print Edition | Subscribe