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Financial Assistance for Essential Outpatient and Inpatient Medical Treatment and Plans to Liberalise Use of MediSave and MediFund on Account of COVID-19 Outbreak

4th May 2020

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Dr Chia Shi-Lu
MP for Tanjong Pagar GRC 

Question No. 1716

To ask the Minister for Health (a) since January 2020, whether there has been an increase in the number of patients appealing for financial assistance for essential outpatient and inpatient medical treatment; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider liberalising the use of MediSave and MediFund considering the economic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Written Answer

1      The number of patients who have appealed for financial assistance for medical treatment since Jan 2020 has remained about the same as that over the same period in previous years. 

2         Notwithstanding this, MOH has already put in place measures to improve healthcare affordability during this period. These include:

(i) Free COVID-19 treatment for Singaporeans, except for those who choose to continue travelling against travel advisories during this period.

(ii) Special subsidies for Singaporeans at the Public Health Preparedness Clinics for Acute Respiratory Infection diagnoses, to remove financial barriers to care.

(iii) Extension of CHAS subsidy and MediSave for video-consultations of selected chronic conditions, to allow suitable patients to receive treatment at home.

3       We will continue to work closely with healthcare institutions to identify patients who might be in need of financial assistance, exercise flexibility for appeals, and implement enhancements to our healthcare financing schemes to ensure that healthcare remains affordable for all Singaporeans. 

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