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
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.