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Financial help available for patients with rare skin conditions

We thank Ms Aliya Shahnaz Kraybill for her letter, “Those with incurable skin conditions find society inclusive but treatment costly” (Feb 15).

Eligible patients with ichthyosis can receive up to 75 per cent subsidies for medicines such as moisturisers, antibiotics, pain relief drugs and oral retinoids, which are listed on the Ministry of Health’s list of subsidised drugs at the public healthcare institutions. Consumables such as wound dressings and body creams are also subsidised when administered at the inpatient wards or outpatient settings.

In addition, patients aged 60 and above can tap Flexi-MediSave of up to $300 each year to pay for their ichthyosis treatment.

Those who have difficulties paying for their treatment after subsidies, insurance and MediSave may apply for MediFund assistance at public healthcare institutions.

As the Rare Disease Fund is a charity fund limited by donations it receives, funding support is generally focused on rare conditions that are life-threatening and where the treatment is effective in extending the patient’s lifespan. High-cost medicines required for rare skin conditions can be put up through healthcare professionals from public healthcare institutions to the Rare Disease Fund for consideration.

The Ministry of Health will continue to regularly review our healthcare financing schemes.

Teh Shi-Hua
Director, Subsidy and Subvention
Ministry of Health

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