Dr. Kagabo’s letter in yesterday’s paper (There is little need for recent medical certificates in most job applications) made me think about how organizations which employ people in Rwanda are sometimes discriminatory. It’s true that in most public institutions in Rwanda the important documents submitted when applying for a job is the criminal record statement and medical certificate.
In my understanding, the medical certificate should not be a document that determines who will be able to apply for a job. It should rather determine how a recruited staff will be managed in their new job, according to their health condition.
For example, the organization I work for also request this document but only when somebody has already qualified and been selected for the job advertised.
The organization then asks for references and a medical certificate. The certificate is compulsory but at least one looks for it already knowing that the job is guaranteed. Plus the organization covers its cost.
The medical certificate helps the organisation have a clear picture of the staff it employs and how to prepare for appropriate management.
For example, if somebody is HIV+ the human resource officer, who is the only person to know about staff health conditions, will quickly understand a request of leave, an absence for medical attendance, late reporting without notice, and sometimes a poor work rate.
Therefore, I think institutions should review their requirements for job applications; they should request some documents only to those already qualified for the job.
Otherwise, the practice today leads one to think that some of these documents are a tool of discrimination.
I’m pretty sure that sometimes these documents are even issued without thorough medical check.