NOTICE PAPER NO. 571
NOTICE OF QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER
FOR THE SITTING OF PARLIAMENT ON 2 AUGUST 2021
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Ms Nadia Ahmad Samdin
MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC
Question No. 1471
To ask the Minister for Health whether beyond the current utilisation limits for outpatient counselling and inpatient hospitalisation, the Government intends to further tackle the issue of longer-term affordability and consistent accessibility for those seeking treatments and medication relating to mental health conditions given that the COVID-19 pandemic has had an adverse impact on our people’s mental health and insurance options for mental health conditions are limited.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has put in place various support measures to ensure access to affordable mental health services. At our public health institutions (PHIs), eligible patients can receive up to 80% subsidies for inpatient mental health treatment. They are also covered under MediShield Life and can tap on MediSave to offset their remaining bills, up to prevailing limits. For outpatient treatments, eligible patients can receive up to 75% of subsidies at polyclinics and public specialist outpatient clinics. Patients can also enjoy subsidies of up to $500 per year at participating private general practitioner (GP) clinics via the Community Health Assist Scheme, for the management of mental health conditions under the Chronic Disease Management Programme (CDMP). In addition, patients can also tap on their MediSave to pay for their outpatient treatment of mental health conditions under the CDMP. Those who are 60 years old and above can additionally tap on the Flexi-MediSave scheme for outpatient expenses.
2 To ensure that no Singaporean is denied access to appropriate treatment due to inability to pay, MediFund is available at PHIs as a safety net to assist Singaporeans who are unable to afford their mental health treatments despite Government subsidies, insurance and MediSave.
3 MOH reviews the various financial schemes regularly to ensure they meet the needs of Singaporeans. For example, the MediSave annual withdrawal limit for patients with complex chronic conditions was increased from $500 to $700 from Jan 2021. The annual limit for Flexi-MediSave was also increased from $200 to $300 from Jun 2021. Since 1 Mar 2021, the MediShield Life claim limits for inpatient mental health treatment was raised to $160 per day for up to 60 days per policy year, from the previous $100 per day for up to 35 days per policy year, which will help to improve patient affordability.