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26 Feb 2021

26th Feb 2021

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Mr Louis Ng Kok Kwang
MP for Nee Soon GRC

Question No. 493

To ask the Minister for Health whether the Ministry will consider requiring doctors to provide medical certificates to husbands accompanying their wives for In-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatments at public hospitals.

Answer

Medical certificates (MCs) are issued to patients only on proper medical grounds when they are unwell or unfit for work or school, to allow them to rest and recuperate at home. Due to the medically invasive nature of IVF treatments, women undergoing these treatments are issued MCs for them to take time off work to attend the treatments and get proper rest after.

As is generally the case for individuals who accompany patients for other procedures, MCs are not provided to husbands who accompany their wives for IVF. However, doctors may provide memos to the husbands, which some employers recognise by extending a day off.

Employers are encouraged to be understanding and supportive of the needs of their employees or spouses who are undergoing IVF treatments, and consider exercising greater flexibility at the workplace. This could include allowing husbands time-off, or providing work-from-home arrangements so that they could be with their wives during recuperation.