Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Ms Ng Ling Ling
MP for Ang Mo Kio GRC
Question No. 2836
To ask the Minister for Health (a) what is the rationale for limiting patients from using their MediSave for chronic disease management medication when they are referred from Specialist Outpatient Clinics or Primary Care Clinics to Intermediate and Long-term Care Services, such as home medical care or home palliative care; and (b) whether the Ministry will review this limitation to ease patients’ out-of-pocket expenses.
MediSave is not allowed for home care setting today. We have been cautious in extending its use, as home care is generally unregulated, and there is a need for measures to ensure appropriate delivery of home care. The exception is home palliative care, where admissions are more tightly gatekept and eligibility criteria better defined. Hence, patients can use MediSave for chronic disease medications prescribed by Long-Term Care (LTC) providers under the home palliative care limit.
Furthermore, LTC patients who are severely disabled can make cash withdrawals under MediSave Care to pay for their LTC expenses. Patients who face difficulties paying their subsidised LTC bills may also apply for financial assistance such as MediFund.
The Ministry of Health will review the need to extend MediSave use to chronic medication for home medical care, as part of our effort to encourage right siting of care and fulfilling the wishes of patients to recover in the familiarity of their homes.