NOTICE PAPER NO. 775
NOTICE OF QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER
FOR THE SITTING OF PARLIAMENT ON 1 NOVEMBER 2021
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Mr Darryl David
MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC
Question No. 1928
To ask the Minister for Health whether more affordable or subsidised treatment for mental health can be made available to those who need it given the likely increase of mental health issues during this COVID-19 pandemic period.
In anticipation of the increase in mental health needs in our population, the Government and various agencies have expanded and introduced a range of mental health-related initiatives.
Mental health is supported through the existing framework of subsidies and support that apply to all health issues.
Eligible patients can receive up to 75% of subsidies for mental health services at polyclinics and public specialist outpatient clinics (SOCs). All Singaporeans are also eligible for means-tested subsidies under the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) at GP clinics for the treatment of mental health conditions under the Chronic Disease Management Programme (CDMP). They receive subsidies up to an annual limit of $500 depending on income.
Patients can use their MediSave – up to $500 per year for simple chronic conditions and $700 per year for complex chronic conditions under the CDMP – to further lower their Out of Pocket costs. In 2019, about seven in 10 patients who withdrew from MediSave for the treatment of mental health conditions under the CDMP did not reach the yearly $500 withdrawal limit.
For inpatient treatment, patients receive up to 80% subsidies at our public hospitals, and can use MediShield Life and MediSave up to the prevailing limits. Singaporeans who are unable to afford their mental health treatments can apply for MediFund. No Singaporean is denied access to appropriate treatment due to an inability to pay.