First meeting with the maid

When the agent called us to pick up the maid, my husband asked me if I could recognise the maid if I saw her. “I think so”. I said, looking at the photo in the given biodata. The next day we went to the agent’s office. 

When we arrived at the agent’s office, we saw 4 maids sitting there. Two who looked older than the average maid and two the younger ones. “Is our maid there?” asked my husband. “No, I don’t think so” I whispered back as we sat down in front of the agent. To our surprise our agent called one of the young girls over. Oops! She looked very different from the photo in the biodata!

In the biodata, was an older girl with hair all combed back neatly, who looked like a responsible young adult. Before us, was a young girl with a shocking growth of afro hairstyle. She looked entirely different. We had to ask her a few questions to make sure she was the right person. Lol.

The agent told us that she had passed the initial X-Ray test which our first choice of maid had failed and was sent back two months earlier BUT her full medical test results are not out yet. The agent explained that if she fails her medical, then she will be sent back like the other one. “So, why are you handing her over to us?” we asked perplexed.

The agent then explained that our contract with the maid starts on the day of arrival (which incidentally was about a week before they released her to us). We start paying from the day of arrival. “If you are worried, you can leave her with us until she is certified fit but you have to pay for her salary in the meantime.” (Hmm now she tells us. We were already there to pick up the maid so what to do?)

Well, well, well. So it would seem that employers are again on the short end.

You basically have two choices.

  1. To take in a maid whom you do not know the full medical history of and after a week or two living in your home, she may be certified unfit. And then you will end up with a dilemma like this
  2. To leave the maid at the agent until she is certified fit. This may take 3-4 weeks in which time the maid may get all sorts of negative influences mixing around with the other reject maids etc (of whom there are plenty) who are staying at the agent’s premises. In the meantime, you pay for the maid, so you may end up paying for a full month of maid’s salary but you haven’t got a maid

So now, I have a stranger living in my house whom I do not know the medical history of. Isn’t this just fine and dandy?

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11 thoughts on “First meeting with the maid

  1. i agree with you michelle. the agencies are basically holding the customer to ransom by providing these non-options.

    1) you take the maid- you dont’ really know what sort of health issues would come your way, especially if you have young ones in the home.

    2) you leave the maid there, the agency will probably use her to do part time maid services to maximise their profitability.

    just as with rental agreements, the laws have not been well designed to protect the owners. i do hope for your sake that the maid will pass her medical with flying colours.

    if you’re worried, why not take her to do a medical at your local trusted doctor? it would be well worth the cause if nothing turns up positive!

    We posed the question of an alternative or second medical test to the agent who replied “Its up to you but I don’t think its necessary because Fomema is quite reliable. If you go to another doctor, they will probably do the same tests as required by Fomema unless you want to do something extra like CT Scans or whatever.” However, after reading the “dilemma” link, it would seem that some things are still missed by Fomema.

    I don’t know much about the process because this is my first time hiring a maid but from what I’ve encountered so far, it would seem that the relationship or contracts between the employer and the agent is very much one sided and little is done to protect the employer from runaway maids, health issues etc. There are still a lot of “loopholes” that could cause big headaches for the employer. 🙁

  2. good to hear that your maid is finally here but sad to hear that u also went thru the same thing like me. so it is standard practice that we have to bring the maid in before their medical report is out. but i insisted that they keep my maid till the report is out since the maid will be following my girl to the daycare. only thing i wasnt informed was that i already have to pay the maid’s salary!

    you are nice enough to bring the maid into your home – i guess in a way, you don’t really have any choice. i hope ur maid doesnt give you any problems.

    btw, are u going to take her for another medical checkup on ur own?

    I’m still thinking about it. I’ve called up the doctor who did the test for Fomema (the agent gave me the number. Said I could call to speak to the doctor) but they haven’t got back to me yet. I still don’t understand how your maid could have passed the Fomema test. 🙁

  3. MG,
    what u could do, is take her for a medical check-up at any clinic. the cost is about rm80. u get the results in 1-2days. from then u decide. if she passes, keep her. if she dont, u return n terminate it. ur agent is definitely taking u for a ride….

    My agent gave me the Fomema website and my maid’s code for me to check. I check in the later part of the morning and found that she has been cleared by Fomema. Now the question is whether to get a second opinion….

  4. I took mine for a second medical check up at clinic, just to be confirmed she’s fit. I think paying a little extra to buy some “reassurance” is quite worthwhile, to me at least. And I make sure the test include TB, AIDS, HEPATITIS…

    The Fomema test includes checking for infectious deceases like Hepatitis, Aids and STDs according to the doctor from the clinic which did the test.

  5. Stupid isn’t it?

    For my agent, she verbally told me that her first day starts on the day we picked her up. But of course, that time she still do not have the medical report out yet! I was furious!!(imagine how dangerous it is to have someone who might have sickness touching your home, using your toilet, living in the same roofs with your kids!)

    Anyway, we then bring our maid to a clinic for a check up, just to be sure everything is alright while waiting for her Fomema result.

    Yeah, its a stupid system. We had to take our own “precautions” by not using the toilet she is using, giving her her own utensils and not sharing food for the time being.

  6. I wouldn’t bring her back if i were you. A friend of mine .. had the same thing.. and it turned out the maid had TB .. and they had eaten at the same table for a week.. before they found out.

    For the time being, we’re not eating at the same table, we give her a different set of utensils and we don’t share food or toilet. Sigh.

  7. I wouldn’t use the doc the agent recommend. It smells too fishy to me. Doc = Fomema = Giving half-pass test result = Corruption.

    I rang up the clinic which did the test and spoke to one of the doctors. He tells me that there can be no falsifying of results as they have to send the tests to different independant labs and it is up to the labs to key in the results and the doctor to concur. There is no way they can “pakat” according to him. He assures me that its foolproof and tells me that he can send it to another lab for testing if I’m not satisfied with the results.

  8. I have no experience in this but my friends advised me that shd I take a maid, go for a second medical test. Also my friends advised me to take the maid for another medical test 3 months later as there may be some disease that the maid had contracted during the few weeks before her departure and on her arrival which cannot be detected by the medical test immediately.

    It is very shrewd of the agent. All this should be explained out right and not like that.

    I am learning from your maid experience. Shd I get one in the future, I know what to clarify with the agent first. Good luck.

  9. I thought they have pass the medical check up before come to M’sia :S…Mine was pass then only here. I heard my agent said that the maid have to pass the Med.exam in order to get the permit to work in Malaysia. If the results is not ready means she don’t have permit? or different agency different procedure?
    Do your maid have the permit card like and ID card?

    The medical examination still required for renewal, year 2 and 3 but year 4 is optional.

    They are required to pass the medical examination over there but they have to undergo another one here. Yes, she has and ID card.

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