From 1 Nov 2011, the Ministry of Health (MOH) is extending the use of Medisave for the outpatient treatments of two more chronic conditions: bipolar disorder and dementia. The two conditions will be covered under the existing Chronic Disease Management Programme (CDMP). In line with our efforts to extend the Primary Care Partnership Scheme (PCPS) to cover all chronic diseases under the CDMP, PCPS will similarly be extended to cover bipolar disorder and dementia. This will make it more affordable for Singaporeans to manage these conditions and avoid unnecessary complications and hospitalisations.
Better management of disease conditions
2 Bipolar disorder is a chronic relapsing illness characterised by wide mood swings from high (manic) to low (depressed) states, and if left untreated, may pose significant morbidity and suicide risks. The global lifetime prevalence estimate for bipolar disorder stands at 1-2%.
3 Dementia is a loss of brain function that affects memory, thinking, language, judgment, and behaviour, and usually occurs in older persons. The prevalence of dementia in those aged 65 years old and above is estimated to be about 6% in Singapore. This is likely to increase with our ageing population.
4 With treatment and good support from family members and the community, people with bipolar disorder and early dementia can still continue to lead productive lives in the community. We hope that the extension of Medisave usage to these conditions would encourage patients to come forward early and continue with their treatment.
Background on CDMP & PCPS
5 In 2006, the CDMP was launched to allow Medisave usage for the treatment of diabetes, hypertension, lipid disorders and stroke. Subsequently, asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) were added in 2008, followed by schizophrenia and major depression in 2009. With the addition of bipolar disorder and dementia, there are now a total of 10 diseases covered under the programme.
6 From 1 Apr 2011, the PCPS was extended to cover all the chronic diseases under the CDMP. Hence, with the extension of CDMP to include bipolar disorder and dementia, PCPS will similarly be extended to cover these two chronic diseases.
7 In line with earlier efforts to raise awareness on diseases under the CDMP, the MOH and the Health Promotion Board (HPB) have also developed a Handbook for Healthcare Professionals which provides detailed guidance for doctors on the treatment of bipolar disorder and dementia. Patient Information Booklets and Patient FAQ Booklets containing relevant information on disease symptoms, treatment and help available, and how family members can help patients cope with the diseases, have also been produced, and will be distributed to all polyclinics, restructured hospitals and private GP clinics in Singapore.
8 Patients may make use of their own Medisave or those of their immediate family members for the outpatient treatment of approved chronic conditions. With effect from 1 Jan 2012, the amount of Medisave that can be used for CDMP will be increased from $300 to $400 per Medisave account per calendar year, up to 10 Medisave accounts in one claim. The existing deductible of $30 and co-payment of 15% will still apply.