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Table 3 Proposed recommendations for policy and practice

From: 健康是本钱 - Health is my capital: a qualitative study of access to healthcare by Chinese migrants in Singapore

Proposed Recommendations for Policy and Practice

Specific Ways to Implement Recommendations

Ensure open access to transparent and fair healthcare providers

- Designate appointed non-biased, government to attend to migrant workers. Consider setting up specific units in public hospitals which specialize in migrant cases.

- Increase migrants’ awareness on their rights to choose their healthcare provider during standard orientation briefing by Ministry of Manpower. Include information on where and how to seek help during illness.

- Disengage private sector from employers to prevent conflict of interest.

- Regular audits of migrant health records to survey the severity of injuries and corresponding medical leave and work injury compensation outcomes.

- Establish government-run clinics in dormitories, which are allowed to perform medical assessments for migrant workers.

- Provide a flat rate or state-owned insurance for migrant workers.

Strengthen Partnerships between HealthServe and Multiple Stakeholders


- HealthServe to establish partnerships with private and public hospitals to ensure open communication regarding migrant cases, easy retrieval of medical assessments, medical leave, and reports for compensation, and to ensure patient privacy in healthcare consultation.

- Design hospital protocols to identify vulnerable migrants early, for early intervention by migrant NGOs.

- Ensure smooth transitions in discharge care, especially in the first month of care after surgery.

Other Stakeholders:

- Encourage platforms for regular open communication between Ministry of Manpower, dormitory owners, employers, construction unions, schools and other migrant NGOs to improve working and living conditions for migrant workers.

Develop Culturally-Competent Healthcare Policies and an Inclusive Society for Migrants

- Improve training of healthcare providers to increase awareness of migrant health issues, such as their medico-legal issues and compensation, and cultural understanding of migrants.

- Ensure translations in various languages to improve health literacy for migrants.

- Ensure verbal and/or written translations in communication with migrant patients.

- Encourage community building activities between Singaporeans and migrant workers to bridge cultural barriers and build friendships.

Ensure Continuity of Care after Repatriation

- Ensure follow-up with migrant workers who have repatriated, to ensure their smooth assimilation back to their home culture.