More needy and elderly patients receive aid through Medifund

$100 million in Medifund assistance in FY 2012

1.            More than $100 million in Medifund aid was provided to needy patients in FY 2012, an increase of about 12% from the $90 million a year ago. Of this amount, $86 million went to patients in the acute sector while some $16 million went to those in the Intermediate and Long-Term Care (ILTC) sector. Needy elderly patients received $33 million, or 19% more compared to the last fiscal year. Over 587,000 Medifund applications were approved in FY 2012.

2.            The Medical Endowment Fund (Medifund) was introduced to assist needy Singaporeans who are unable to afford their medical bills, despite government subsidies and having made use of their Medisave and MediShield. The amount of Medifund assistance varies according to the patient’s financial situation. Similar to last year, about 93 per cent of the successful applications received full assistance, where Medifund paid for 100 per cent of the patient’s outstanding subsidised bill. On average, the amount of assistance was $1,471 per inpatient treatment, and $107 per outpatient treatment.

3.            Over the years, Medifund has been enhanced to ensure that needy Singaporeans are able to get help. For example, Medifund Silver was introduced in November 2007 to better target assistance at elderly aged 65 and above. More recently in March 2013, with the launch of Medifund Junior, more monies were set aside to help more children below the age of 18 years from needy families. Medifund has also been extended to cover more healthcare services, including non-residential Intermediate and Long Term Care (ILTC) services from April 2012, primary care at the polyclinics, dental services, as well as antenatal and delivery services in 2013. More details can be found in the Medical Endowment Scheme Annual Report 2012/2013.

4.            To strengthen our social safety net and support these enhancements to Medifund, the Government has committed significant sums to Medifund over the years. In FY 2012, the Government injected $600 million into the Medical Endowment Fund, bringing its total size to $3.08 billion in capital sum.  This increases the amount of Medifund monies that could be used to assist needy patients.

5.            The Ministry of Health will continue to strengthen our healthcare financing framework to ensure that public healthcare remains accessible and affordable to Singaporeans.

 

 

 

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