Medifund is an endowment fund set up by the Government to help needy Singaporeans who are unable to pay for their medical expenses. Medifund acts as a safety net for those who cannot afford the subsidised bill charges, despite Medisave and MediShield coverage. Set up in April 1993 with an initial capital of S$200 million, the Government will inject capital into the fund when budget surpluses are available. The Government utilises the interest income from the capital sum, which stands at S$3 billion (FY 2012), to help needy patients who have difficulty paying their medical bills.
With an ageing population, the government decided to carve out a portion of Medifund as Medifund Silver to deliver assistance to needy elderly Singaporean patients in a more targeted manner. In November 2007, Medifund Silver was launched with a start-up capital sum of $500 million.