Medicial examinations

Leuven Travel Blog

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Here is something that I dislike about Belgian work culture - the compulsory medical examinations for employees. I don't like going to the doctor, I find it invasive and irritating, but I strenuously object to going to the doctor for reasons other than my own health. Why should an employer have any right to invade my personal privacy, through the proxy of a doctor? When I asked my doctor about this (or actually, I should call her my employer's doctor, rather than my doctor - which is the entire point of my objection), she said that it is so that she can "confirm that I can do the job I am currently doing". Yes, but the point is that I am currently doing my job, isn't my ability to actually do the job what matters, rather than my BMI or blood pressure? Why should I have to get a medical every year, rather than just assess my actual ability in the job. I don't expect to be kept in my job if I don't perform but I have a perfect health check, so why should I be kicked out my job if I do perform but I have health issues?

From my perspective my health is my business, my job performance is my employers business. Belgian law has fallen onto the wrong side of this ethical divide.
Adrian_Liston says:
Hmmm... I'm all good with the employer paying for a check up every year so that I know my health status, but I just don't see why my employer should get a copy. This type of thing is pretty common in the US, with some places even doing random drug tests and so forth, but is just not on in Australia, bar maybe a breath test to see if you are currently drunk (in some professions).
Posted on: Mar 18, 2009
lamadude says:
I think that somehow it must be something that was demanded by workers unions though, since I can't imagine why the employers would ask for it. Maybe something related to for example if you operate a dangerous machine and you have a condition you don't know about that would put yourself at risk?
I don't know, just trying to figure out the roots of this law, which nearly always lie in the negotiations between workers unions and employers. It has definitely been around for a long time.

School children and university students have those check ups too. For school children I think it is to make sure the parents aren't neglecting their childs health, and for students I'm not so sure. I got the letter asking me to go during my first year at uni but never went.
Posted on: Mar 18, 2009
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