In preparation for our departure to Japan, my companions and I had to undergo a very tedious medical examination. Since we will be working in Japan as OFWs, we of course went to POEA to submit the necessary requirements. One of the requirements is a medical certificate showing that we are fit to work abroad.
Unfortunately, POEA already specified names of clinics where we can have our medical examination, and it was a very limited list at that - they only have 4 "accredited" clinics. Without much choice, we went to the clinic that was nearest to the PhilNITS Office and this post will tell you all about our experience there.
Okay. Before you get started with your medical examination, I strongly advise you to sort of "cleanse" your body at least 3 days before the exam. Drink a lot of water, eat healthy food, and if you have any bad habits (e.g. smoking), it is best if you stay away from them just for a few days until your exam day. And of course, be sure that you have the POEA medical examination endorsement form with you because you will need to submit this form to the clinic, especially if you are a name/direct hire. Also, prepare at least Php 5,000.00 for your overall medical examination fees.
So the medical examination is composed of several tests: stool, urine, blood, physical, x-ray, pregnancy (for girls), optical (eyes), dental, and psychology tests. These are initial tests and you might still be advised to undergo additional tests depending on the results of these tests.
In our case, the first thing we were able to accomplish is the stool, urine, and blood test. We brought the stool and urine samples to the clinic on the day of our examination. The stool and urine sample must be submitted and tested within an hour from the time you obtained it. If you live far away, it might be best if you go to the clinic and get your sample from there since they have a bathroom. The blood test was not much of a hassle, but I became a little woozy after my blood sample was taken. A lot of blood was taken - about half of a regular syringe. It took me a long time before I got the feeling of the needle inside my body out of my senses.
Right after the blood test, we proceeded to x-ray. I don't know if it applies to all other clinics and hospitals now but the poses we did for the x-ray were new to me. There were two weird "poses" - one taken from the back and the other taken from the front. Our arms were positioned quite awkwardly in both. Anyway, the x-ray required taking off your upper clothes, including the bra for girls. But don't worry, this is not the worst part of the exam yet.
We took the psychology exam next because it was quite time-consuming. There were two tests - the first was an aptitude test and the second was a personality test. I guess an average person can easily pass the aptitude exam and the personality test is not really graded. It took us more than an hour to finish the two exams because there were around 200 questions.
While we took the psychology test, we were called out a few times to undergo the dental and optical tests. For the dental examination, if the dentist found some teeth that needed restoration or cleaning, you would be advised to have them done ASAP so that you can get your dental clearance. The same goes for the optical exam. If you were found to have some problems with your eyes (e.g. your vision is not 20/20 anymore), you will be required to have eyeglasses made for your clearance to be released. This happened to us, including me, and we had to pay extra for the glasses.
These are all of the tests that we had to undergo. It took us one whole day to finish everything and the results came out 2 days after. Thankfully, I was found to be physically fit for work. The sad part is, one of our companions is still stuck because his x-ray results showed problems with his lungs.
My final advise to you would be to physically, mentally, and financially prepare yourself for the medical examination. You will probably feel harassed after all the tests that you have had to undergo and if there are problems, you will need extra cash to be able to comply with the additional tests. For this step of your POEA processing, starting early helps a lot.