We refer to Ms Qiu Zhen’s letter (“打疫苗副作用看诊费可否索赔”, 9 Apr”).
Similar to other non-COVID-19 vaccines, some individuals may experience symptoms, such as fever, chills and muscle pain after their COVID-19 vaccination. Most symptoms will resolve within a few days, and not all symptoms require a review by a doctor. Serious side effects that may warrant medical attention include allergic reactions or heart and chest symptoms, such as chest pain, shortness of breath or abnormal heart beats.
Appeals for waivers of Emergency Department (ED) and Specialist Outpatient Clinic bills incurred post-vaccination may be extended on a goodwill basis, if the visit has been assessed to be appropriate and potentially vaccination-related by the attending clinician. The National University Hospital has reached out to Ms Qiu to assist her with the waiver of her son’s bills.
For bills that are not waived, Singaporeans and Permanent Residents may tap on the regular healthcare financing framework, such as Government subsidies, MediShield Life/ Integrated Shield Plans and MediSave where applicable, to help pay for their bills. Those who face financial difficulties may approach medical social workers at the respective public healthcare institutions for further financial assistance.
To ensure that we can prioritise ED resources for those with life-threatening and emergency medical conditions, individuals who experience mild symptoms following their vaccination or booster doses are urged to first seek help through their regular primary care provider, rather than walk into the EDs. Unnecessary visits to the EDs add to the load on hospitals, which have to help persons with serious illnesses.
Teh Shi-Hua (Ms)
Director (Subsidy and Subvention), Healthcare Finance Group
Ministry of Health