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31 Mar 2020

31st Mar 2020

         From 3 April 2020, the Ministry of Health (MOH) will introduce a time-limited and exceptional extension of the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) Chronic subsidy and MediSave for the regular follow-up of seven chronic conditions through video consultation to support the safe distancing measures the Multi-Ministry Taskforce has implemented. This will allow patients whose conditions are stable to avoid a physical visit to a clinic during this period of heightened alert due to COVID-19. 

In Support of Safe Distancing during COVID-19 Outbreak

2.            Currently, CHAS subsidy and MediSave are only available for physical consultations. To support safe distancing, CHAS Chronic subsidy and MediSave will be extended to video consultations of seven selected chronic conditions under the Chronic Disease Management Programme (CDMP). Patients can tap on the prevailing CHAS Chronic subsidy and MediSave (i.e. MediSave500 and Flexi-MediSave) limits to offset the cost of video consultation, related drugs and investigations.

3.            These chronic conditions are diabetes, hypertension, lipid disorder, major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and anxiety[1]. Patients with these conditions can generally be managed through video consultations without physical examination if these conditions are stable. Together, they also account for a high proportion of patients who use CHAS and MediSave for their chronic treatments.

4.            The extension will remain active until the de-activation of the Public Health Preparedness Clinic (PHPC) scheme, or as otherwise determined by MOH.

Ensuring Patient Safety

5.            Healthcare professionals who wish to provide video consultations which can be paid using CHAS subsidies and MediSave will be required to undergo telemedicine e-training to familiarise themselves with the best practices. Details will be made available to healthcare professionals separately.

6.            Healthcare providers should only carry out video consultations for patients that providers had physical consultations with previously, so that they can confirm the patient’s suitability for video consultation before its use. Whenever it is assessed to be necessary, such as when a physical examination is required, the provider should ask the patient to come into the clinic for a physical consultation.  

7.            The list of healthcare institutions providing CHAS Chronic subsidy and MediSave for video consultations of the selected chronic conditions can be found at from 3 Apr 2020. The number of providers will be progressively ramped up as more providers adopt video consultation. Patients may also wish to check with their healthcare provider to ascertain their suitability for video consultations of the selected chronic conditions.

31 MARCH 2020

[1] CHAS Chronic subsidy and MediSave can only be claimed for major depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and anxiety at CDMP+ accredited clinics. Anxiety includes general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, phobic anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.