KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 22 — The Social Security Organisation (Socso) is offering free Covid-19 screening to local and foreign workers across all sectors and industries located in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Sabah, and Labuan that are under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).
Human Resources Minister M. Saravanan said the expansion of Socso’s Prihatin Screening Programme (PSP) for its contributors would be implemented today, where employers can schedule screening appointments for their employees with Socso’s appointed service provider.
Workers can get screened again even if they previously got tested during the first phase of the Socso PSP earlier this year.
“The screening process can be done at clinics or laboratories, or at the work premise. Only screenings from the panel service provider will be fully funded by Socso,” Saravanan said in a statement yesterday.
Despite the expansion of the Socso PSP to millions of workers regardless of nationality and occupation in Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Putrajaya, Sabah, and Labuan, the Socso PSP website only lists 10 diagnostic centres — all BP Healthcare — in the Klang Valley.
According to the Department of Statistics, Selangor and Kuala Lumpur recorded 2.4 million and 1.6 million employees respectively in 2017, totalling four million.
Four BP outlets are listed in Kuala Lumpur (OUG, Kepong, Cheras, Medan Tuanku), while six are listed in Selangor (Rawang, Seri Kembangan, Kajang, Klang, Glenmarie, and Taman Megah. No BP diagnostic centre was listed in Labuan, while only two were listed in Sabah (Kota Kinabalu and Tawau).
Last May, health professionals urged Socso to expand providers of coronavirus screening for migrant workers beyond BP Healthcare, amid complaints of long queues of people in close proximity outside BP diagnostic centres.
Saravanan said today that workers’ Covid-19 screenings can also be done through the Prihatin Screening Subsidy, where the employer pays the cost of testing first and Socso will make subsidy payments of a maximum of RM150 for each worker who undergoes screening.
“Both facilities must only be done through the employer.”
Socso made the decision to expand its PSP screening programme after Senior Defence Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob announced Tuesday that workers living in red zones must get tested for Covid-19 if they are going to work as usual in CMCO areas.
Yesterday, however, the minister said swab tests are only mandatory for foreign workers who work in the construction sector and security guards, as well as symptomatic employees regardless of nationality. Workers from red zones, who cannot work from home, are simply recommended to get tested.