What are Preventive Medical Examinations?

High absenteeism in a company can cause a loss of productivity, extra costs, and increased stress. To prevent this in the future, offering a Preventive Medical Examination to your employees is a good solution. But what does a Preventive Medical Examination involve? Read on and discover the best way to prevent unnecessary absenteeism.

What is a Preventive Medical Examination?

A Preventive Medical Examination (Preventief Medisch Onderzoek or PMO in Dutch) is an examination that checks in on the general health of employees. During this check-up potential health risks can be detected early and preventive measures taken to avoid acute illness or chronic disease. The biggest advantage of a PMO is that companies can take action quickly to prevent health problems from progressing. In this way, severe illness or burnout can be prevented. (Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, 2020).

An examination in addition to the PAGO

Before a PMO can be conducted among your employees, a Periodic Occupational Health Examination (Periodiek Arbeidsgezondheidskundig Onderzoek or PAGO in Dutch) must first take place. The purpose of this examination is to assess and monitor potential health risks in the workplace. This involves checking several aspects of the workplace, such as the indoor temperature, the amount of natural light, and the workload placed on employees.

The PAGO examination identifies any health problems or risks related to work itself and is always done by the company doctor. To get an even more comprehensive look at the health of your employees, an additional PMO exam is an excellent choice.

What are the differences between a PMO and PAGO?

The main difference between a Preventive Medical Examination (PMO) and a Periodic Occupational Health Examination (PAGO) is that a PAGO is only work environment related while PMOs check the individual health of an employee. For example, cholesterol and lipid levels, blood sugar, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 levels may be examined in a PMO. This exam may also check whether the employee is overweight. If necessary, advice is given to protect and improve the employee’s personal health (Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, 2020).

What does a Preventive Health Check consist of?

Homed-IQ’s Corporate Health Check contains the following components:

  • A preventive health check using a finger prick blood test.
  • A laboratory report that can be brought to the GP if needed.

How much does a PMO cost?

Many companies today are struggling with higher absenteeism rates than in previous years. This could be because workload has increased and that employees are increasingly required to be constantly available via online communication. As a result, sick leaves due to psychological problems, overwork, or burnout are the most common (Central Bureau of Statistics, 2023). In combination with mental health challenges, unnoticed physical health problems place employees at high risk for long term disability or reduced productivity at work.

To prevent absenteeism in your employees, a Preventive Medical Examination can be very beneficial in the long run. Homed-IQ’s Corporate Health Check costs € 89.00 per employee including VAT. This cost is paid by the employer, but is ultimately cost-saving when compared to the cost of long-term illness in an employee (Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, 2020).

Is a Preventive Medical Examination required by the Dutch Occupational Health and Safety Act?

According to Article 18 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act in the Netherlands, companies are obliged to periodically offer employees the opportunity to undergo a PMO (Overheid.nl, 2023). In some industries, employees are required to participate in a Preventive Medical Examination. These include professions in healthcare, construction, and agriculture, for example.

PMOs are required in industries that have certain occupational hazards, such as potential hearing damage or exposure to toxic substances. To prevent workplace exposures from damaging health, a periodic PMO is often included in the industry-specific collective bargaining agreement (FNV, s.d.). In addition, a Preventive Medical Examination is also mandatory if you work more than 55 night shifts. Take a look at the complete PMO list to find out when a PMO is mandatory in the Netherlands (Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations, s.d.).

How is a PMO performed?

Performing a PMO with Homed-IQ is very simple. You will receive a test kit that contains all the materials to take a finger prick blood sample. This can be done at home or at work. The test measures cholesterol and lipid levels, blood sugar, vitamin D and vitamin B12 levels. After collecting your blood sample, simply send the test kit to Homed-IQ’s certified partner laboratory through the post. Within a few days, your employee will receive the test results in a secure online portal.

In addition, your employee will also receive an official laboratory report. This can be shared with their family doctor if further investigation or treatment is needed.

How often should a Preventive Medical Examination be conducted?

According to the Dutch Occupational Health and Safety Act, the employer must periodically offer a Preventive Medical Examination. However, there is no mention of how often this should be offered. The main reason for this is that it depends on the risks involved in the job (Overheid.nl, 2023).

To determine how often a PMO is needed, it is recommended to get advice from your company’s doctor. They can make an assessment of potential risk exposures in the workplace and how often a PMO is needed.

How is a PMO beneficial for employers?

Some of the benefits of conducting a PMO are:

  • Early identification of health risks.
  • Taking preventive measures to avoid absenteeism and downtime.
  • Promoting employee health and wellbeing.
  • Meeting legal obligations on occupational health.

Order a Corporate Health Check

Would you like to offer a Preventive Health Check to your employees? Homed-IQ offers a Corporate Health Check that can be easily completed at home or work, requiring only a finger prick blood sample.

Do you have questions or want advice about offering a preventive health check to your company? Contact us today.