Health Policy

Medical Leave Procedure (2014)

This policy brief addresses the question of whether Brunei Darussalam should adopt a self-certifying medical leave policy (SCML) for employees in the public and private sector. It also proposes for the best SCML option to adopt if SCML is to be implemented.

The policy brief recommended that SCML should be implemented for both public and private sectors as the existing system requiring medical certificates (MCs) for sick leave is prone to abuse and has a tendency to encourage or at least, accommodate longer and unnecessary absenteeism from work. This presents negative implications as it results in considerable direct and indirect costs to the workplace, individual and Ministry of Health (MoH). There is a strong case for proper control on the duration of paid sick leave for minor illnesses and abuse of MC issuance so that absenteeism can be reduced. A more robust management of sick leave can be achieved via an SCML policy which provides empowerment for employees to decide whilst at the same time, incentivizes them to reduce sick leave or to return to work earlier.

Our recommendation is for the abolition of the MC requirement for taking sick leave for minor illnesses in favour of the SCML provision for a specified number of six days per year to be taken not more than two days in a row. In addition, there should be a monetary reward for the number of SCML days that are not utilised by the employee to be paid on an annual basis. If this is administratively inexpedient, then the monetary reward may be omitted to allow for six days SCML per year to be taken not more than two days in a row.

In September 2016, MoH applied our recommendation for SCML using option 1: Self-certification of a specified number of sick leave days to be deducted from existing annual leave.

This study has been published as a CSPS Policy Brief in 2014.

Brunei Health System Survey (2013)

This study was conducted by CSPS in collaboration with RTI International (USA) and the Ministry of Health (MoH). This survey measures the general public’s perceptions, expectations, and behaviors related to the healthcare system in Brunei Darussalam. Information from the survey was the main point of input from the general public for the Ministry of Health Master Plan.

The HSS is a face-to-face, household survey of the population living in Brunei Darussalam. CSPS completed a total of 1,197 questionnaires between 21 March 2013 and 11 April 2013 across the four districts.

This survey has been accepted and incorporated into the Ministry of Health Master plan.

Brunei National Survey on Risk Factors on Non-Communicable Diseases (2016)

As commissioned by Ministry of Health (MoH), CSPS completed the nationwide survey of the general population of adults aged 18-69 years old, aimed to determine the prevalence of risk factors for non-communicable diseases (NCDs) while monitoring the effectiveness of strategies to address NCDs in Brunei Darussalam.

The survey is made up of three levels of risk factor assessment:  STEP 1 collects behavioural data via face-to-face household interviews using PDAs as an input device and STEPs 2 & 3 collect physical and biochemical measurements and were carried out at different health centres in Brunei Darussalam.

There were 82 trained data collectors for STEP 1 and 6 trained nurses for STEPs 2 and 3 who carried out the survey from 26 August 2015 to 30 January 2016. A total of 2,688 households completed STEP 1 at a response rate of 78.9% and approximately 1000 respondents completed STEPs 2 and 3.

The results from the survey are now used by MoH for their policies and programmes and form the basis for a National Report on Brunei Darussalam to the World Health Organisation.