Records of sickness for all industrial employees of H. M. Dockyard, Singapore were analysed over a calendar year, 1955-56, with a view to producing a standard rate for sickness absence in the three main ethnic divisions of this area, with particular reference to age.
Other factors, such as form of grade of employment and residence, were considered in order to test their effect, if any, upon sickness absence. The principal diagnostic groups were separated to give a general picture of the trends of sickness.
The reactions of Chinese, Indians, and Malays to disease or to any of the associated factors were found to be totally dissimilar, and the possibility of this being due to chance is so slight as to be negligible.
Comparisons are subsequently made with the one rather scanty record of another organization in South East Asia, and with detailed modern analyses of sickness absence in England. Again it is found that absence rates for inceptions per 1,000 workers and days lost per worker differ entirely both as regards the total and individual disease groups and also in the effect of age. It is evident that the ethnic grouping of the population concerned must be taken into consideration in studies of sickness absence.
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