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How’s your syphilis? Phuket work permits still require tests

Any expat who has applied for work permit in Phuket knows the drill. Each year a medical test is required to renew the work permit, and each year the expat is tested for syphilis. Why this is so baffles many expats on the island. Read on to the officials' explanations of why this is required.


By The Phuket News

Sunday 26 February 2017, 11:00AM


QUESTION

I have lived in Phuket since 2006 and worked for a major hotel before setting up my own company at the end of 2007. From then on, I have extended my visa and work permit every year.

Each year among the required papers needed for a work permit is a medical certificate, which includes the results of a fresh blood test to confirm whether I have syphilis. I am running a hotel, not a brothel, and my friend who runs a building company also has to provide the same.

I called the Labour Office but nobody could tell me why this is required, or what was the relationship between a work permit and syphilis. I tried to find an answer on the internet, but all I found was a post by a lawyer saying that this is required in some provinces, but not others.

I honestly find it denigrating to have to go to see a doctor and ask for that type of certificate. In my opinion it would be more interesting to test all those guys sitting in the karaoke bars every night while their wives are waiting at home, as some of them might bring that disease home.

If they asked about HIV you could understand, or if you were applying for the first time, I could understand. I think officials in New Zealand and Australia require a HIV test when applying to live and work there, but syphilis? Do officials in Thailand think foreigners are jumping on everyone and everything?

I am sure many foreigners have the same question and feeling.

– ED, Bang Tao

 

ANSWER

The syphilis test is required by law. This disease has found among foreigners in the past. It is still required by law to get a work permit as this disease still needs to be controlled. Syphilis is a contagious disease.

Foreigners found to be infected with syphilis will be denied a work permit until they can present a medical certificate confirming they are no longer infected with the disease.

Kattiya Pandech, Chief, Phuket Labour Office.

Syphilis tests for work permits have been required by law for a long time, even though syphilis is now not seen much in Thailand, or in Phuket. Medical services here are much better than in the past.

I have no idea why specifically syphilis tests are required for work permits. It is ministerial decision, not mine

We do keep records of people found to be infected with syphilis, but we will not reveal private information to the public. There are not many anyway.

– Dr Jirapan Teapan, Chief, Phuket Public Health Office.

 

 

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Kurt | 10 March 2017 - 14:57:00

Mhhh, swerv reacts/focus on me wildly, but about this subject swerv conveniently fled the scene, like a bus driver after a serious accident.
Not 'sporty'.
After all, the foreigner who wrote to Q&A has a problem with it ( so do I), why you not also addressed your reaction to him?
That was the starting point, right? 
Do not pin point your reaction by obsession.

Kurt | 27 February 2017 - 20:01:11

@ swerv--  You repeated my question. A question!
Answer the question, not swerve/derail about it.

Why only foreigners? Foreigners, for a working permit. It doesn't make sense. 
It only make sense if the foreigner works in the thai sex industry.

My writing...'a few foreigners'..., means that all foreign working permit holders ( tested) are just a very small percentage compared w...

Eagle | 27 February 2017 - 15:22:15

Kurt,what construction site does actually still use asbestos?It is forbidden long time already.And as the article is about a transmittable disease,what has lung cancer or diabetes to do with it?

swerv | 27 February 2017 - 14:58:14

Kurt: "Are thai hotel/company owners, teachers, etc.,men immune for syphilis?
Why only the few foreigners checked?"


If you have a work permit, which you don't..this test is required by law. I have no problem testing for it every year on renewal.
And it's not just a few foreigners, it's every foreigner with a work permit.
As you don't work why is so important to yo...

Kurt | 27 February 2017 - 14:38:32

Well, according a thai lawyer, this is required in some thai provinces, but not others.
A bit mysterious, yes?

Yes Christy Sweet, hepatitis A + B, diabetes, long cancer due to use of asbestos in houses/buildings/construction sites.
That are the health dangers.

By the way are the thai bar girls and boys on Phuket tested regular on syphilis and other STD's?
Or is that a no mans land due...

Christy Sweet | 27 February 2017 - 12:53:27

The good 'ol " It's a law, that's why.." answer to why something as absurd as a syphilis test is a requirement while hepatitis is the real highly communicable public health issue that needs a law mandating tests. 

This is just more of the "let's humiliate whities" mentality that is so pervasive in the Thai bureaucracy. 

Kurt | 27 February 2017 - 10:11:43

Are thai hotel/company owners, teachers, etc.,men immune for syphilis?
Why only the few foreigners checked?

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