8 May 2023
NOTICE PAPER NO. 1889
NOTICE OF QUESTION FOR ORAL ANSWER
FOR THE SITTING OF PARLIAMENT ON 8 MAY 2023
Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament
Ms Carrie Tan
MP for Nee Soon GRC
Question No. 4546
To ask the Minister for Health in view of the high cost of MRI scans, whether the Ministry will consider providing additional annual subsidies on top of the existing $300 MediSave funding for outpatient MRI scans, specifically for retired or low-income citizens.
1 MRI scans are needed for diagnosing conditions such as tumours and inflammation. The more common MRI scans cost around $1,000 per scan.
2 To make scans more affordable, MOH provides means-tested subsidies of up to 70% to patients at public Specialist Outpatient Clinics. Pioneer and Merdeka Generation seniors get additional subsidies covering 50% or 25% off their remaining bill respectively.
3 In addition to subsidies, patients can offset their remaining bill by tapping on their MediSave for up to $300 per year for outpatient diagnostic scans including MRI scans. Seniors aged 60 years old and above can withdraw an additional $300 per year from MediSave for MRI scans under the Flexi-MediSave scheme. Taken together, Pioneer and Merdeka Generation seniors would likely incur low, if not, zero out-of-pocket payments at public Specialist Outpatient Clinics.
4 Patients who still face difficulties coping with their bills can approach Medical Social Workers to apply for financial assistance, such as MediFund. MOH commits that no one will be denied basic healthcare due to inability to pay. We will continually review our healthcare financing framework to ensure that healthcare remains affordable and accessible to the population.