2nd Nov 2020
Miss Rachel Ong
MP for West Coast GRC
Question No. 191
To ask the Minister for Health whether the Ministry will consider allowing seniors to use MediSave for certain treatments at selected Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) clinics approved by the Ministry and, if not, what are the considerations for not allowing MediSave to be so used.
1. MediSave helps Singaporeans set aside part of their income over their working years to save up for their basic healthcare needs in old age, including larger medical expenses such as hospitalisation episodes and recurring outpatient treatments, as well as premiums for national health insurance schemes. While we have extended coverage to a wider range of mainstream evidence-based treatments in recent years, especially to better support seniors with chronic conditions, any further extension must be carefully balanced against the need to ensure that Singaporeans’ MediSave balances are not depleted prematurely.
2. In light of the above, we have adopted other measures to enhance access to Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), which plays a complementary role in our healthcare system. MOH provides support for enhancing TCM capability and professional development like funding and support for TCM continuing education and research. Funding is also available to TCM clinics to encourage digitalisation and upgrade clinic facilities for a safer and elderly-friendly clinic environment. Moreover, charitable TCM establishments with Institution of Public Character (IPC) status benefit from tax exemption and are eligible to receive tax deductible donations, which enable them to provide affordable TCM services in the community.
3. We will continue to review our financing schemes in tandem with these measures to ensure that seniors are able to afford the care they need. No Singaporean will be denied access to necessary and appropriate healthcare because of an inability to pay.