Why was maid with TB allowed into country?

I hired a maid in July as I needed help with my newborn baby who was due in October.

But in October, my maid started to cough persistently. At first, we did not think much of it, but when her cough persisted after two weeks, we took her to a doctor who advised us to have our helper take a chest X-ray if her condition did not improve within a week.

Her condition did not and we took her to Tan Tock Seng Hospital, where she was diagnosed with tuberculosis.

So, on top of caring for my newborn baby and recuperating, I was saddled with paperwork to admit my maid into the hospital during my confinement period.

The TB control unit advised everyone who had come into contact with my maid to undergo a blood test.

It turned out, that a few of my family members and I had contracted latent TB.

Now even my newborn baby, who is only a month old, has to take medication because of the latent TB in us.

Usually, health checks are only mandatory when maids come to Singapore to work.

But as mine was a "transfer case", she did not undergo a thorough health check, besides an HIV and pregnancy test every six months.

Is the process for the hiring of foreign domestic workers into Singapore too lax?

I hope the ministries of Manpower and Health will be able to explain their policy on health checks for maids.

Jaslin Huang (Ms)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 01, 2018, with the headline 'Why was maid with TB allowed into country?'. Print Edition | Subscribe