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29 Dec 2020

29th Dec 2020

      From 29 December 2020, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will extend means-tested subsidy and MediSave coverage under a pilot arrangement to support acupuncture for lower back pain and neck pain at specialist outpatient clinics (SOCs) in public healthcare institutions. Under the pilot, about 2,000 patients per year, or more than 70% of the patients who receive acupuncture for these indications at public SOCs, will be eligible for subsidies.

2.    Under this pilot, subsidised patients referred by a medical specialist in public hospitals for lower back pain or neck pain acupuncture treatment will receive means-tested subsidies of up to 70%, similar to other subsidised SOC services. For eligible patients, additional Pioneer Generation (PG) and Merdeka Generation (MG) subsidies of 50% and 25% off the remaining bill respectively will also apply. 

3.    Regardless of their subsidy status, patients will also be able to tap on the Flexi-MediSave scheme to pay for lower back pain and neck pain acupuncture treatment at public SOCs.  The scheme allows patients aged 60 and above to withdraw up to $200 per year from their own, or their spouse’s MediSave Account to pay for outpatient treatments. 

4.   The pilot will not cover acupuncture used to treat other pain indications, and other forms of traditional, complementary and alternative medicine currently offered at public healthcare institutions. MOH will review the expansion of the pilot to other settings in the longer term, taking into account learnings and data from this pilot.  

29 DECEMBER 2020