16th Feb 2021
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Zhulkarnain Abdul Rahim
MP for Chua Chu Kang GRC
Question No. 680
To ask the Minister for Health what are the financial support schemes available to working caregivers of cancer patients in terms of higher MediSave withdrawal limits, subsidies or tax reliefs.
The Government provides a range of financial support measures to help patients and their caregivers defray the cost of caring for cancer patients.
We have financial support schemes to help keep cancer treatment expenses more affordable for patients and their caregivers. This includes means-tested subsidies of up to 70% at public Specialist Outpatient Clinics and up to 75% for subsidised medications. Eligible Singaporeans can also receive means-tested subsidies of up to 80% for long-term care services such as centre-based rehabilitation for cancer patients.
Cancer patients can also tap on MediShield Life and MediSave to pay for both inpatient and outpatient cancer treatments. For patients who are diagnosed with terminal cancer and receiving end-of-life care, MediSave may be used to pay for home palliative care or day hospice care services, and there is no withdrawal limit if the bill is paid using the patient’s own MediSave. In addition, patients with financial needs can apply for MediFund assistance, which helps to provide a further safety net for those who are still unable to afford the bills. To allow families to stretch their combined savings to cover healthcare expenses, caregivers can also use their MediSave to pay for medical expenses incurred by their approved dependants.
The Home Caregiving Grant (HCG) was introduced in October 2019 to provide a $200 monthly cash grant to eligible individuals, including cancer patients, with permanent moderate disability to defray the costs of long-term caregiving. It can be used flexibly for caregiving expenses, for example, to hire a foreign domestic worker, for the use of eldercare services, or for transport to medical appointments. Another grant, the Caregiver Training Grant allows caregivers, including working caregivers, to attend approved courses to better care for their loved ones.
Beyond healthcare-specific financial measures, caregivers can also qualify for tax reliefs if they meet the conditions under dependant related relief schemes. Families who need further help with caregiving expenses can approach the Agency for Integrated Care (AIC) or Medical Social Workers within healthcare institutions for assistance. We will continue to review and develop initiatives to strengthen support for caregivers.