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23 Jan 2020

6th Jan 2020

Name and Constituency of Member of Parliament

Er Dr Lee Bee Wah

MP for Nee Soon GRC 


Question No. 1525

To ask the Minister for Health (a) over the past three years, what is the average duration to process appeals by persons who wish to draw from their MediSave accounts beyond the annual withdrawal limit; (b) what are the common reasons for those unsuccessful appeals; and (c) whether there have been appeals by similar persons for consecutive years and, if so, how are these appeals managed.


Written Answer

1      Appeals for additional MediSave withdrawal beyond these limits are assessed on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration circumstances of the patient and his family, such as whether more complex treatment was required, as well as the family’s social and financial situation.


2      In some appeal cases, the patient may already have low MediSave balances, or expect recurrent treatment in future years, and additional Medisave withdrawal may not be the only or the best solution. To ensure that these patients have enough MediSave for their future needs, we may instead refer such cases to Medical Social Workers for other forms of support, such as MediFund. For cases that are likely to face more complicated and challenging social and financial issues, MOH may work with other agencies, such as MSF and HDB, to coordinate support for these patients.



3      In other cases, the patient may have sought unsubsidized care resulting in unexpectedly large bills. In such cases, we would encourage the patient to also work out alternative payment arrangements, such as payment through an instalment plan, instead of prematurely depleting their MediSave balances which would be needed in future.



4      As it takes time to obtain information and assess a patient’s financial and clinical circumstances, it generally takes around one month to process an appeal after we have received it.



5      We will continue to review MediSave withdrawal limits and our healthcare financing schemes to ensure that they remain adequate and relevant. No Singaporean will be denied access to necessary and appropriate healthcare because of an inability to pay.