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Covid-19: Chas, MediSave extended temporarily to cover video consultations

SINGAPORE — From Friday (April 3), patients who qualify for the Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) subsidy for chronic conditions and MediSave payments will be allowed to attend to their regular follow-up sessions through video consultations, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Tuesday.

SINGAPORE — From Friday (April 3), patients who qualify for the Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) subsidy for chronic conditions and MediSave payments will be allowed to attend to their regular follow-up sessions through video consultations, the Ministry of Health (MOH) said on Tuesday.

Previously, follow-up appointments were done through physical consultations for this group of patients.

MOH said that this "time-limited exceptional extension" will remain active until the deactivation of the Public Health Preparedness Clinic scheme that was rolled out during the Covid-19 pandemic, or when otherwise determined by the ministry.

It added that the move was done to support the safe-distancing measures that were announced earlier by the authorities. 

“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,” MOH said.

The extension would apply to patients who fall under the Chronic Disease Management Programme. They include those who have the following seven chronic conditions: 

  • Diabetes

  • Hypertension

  • Lipid disorder

  • Major depression

  • Schizophrenia

  • Bipolar disorder

  • Anxiety

These conditions were included because they can generally be managed through video consultations without physical examinations if the patient’s conditions are stable, the ministry said.

They also account for a high proportion of patients who use Chas and MediSave for their chronic treatments, it added. 

Patients can make use of the prevailing Chas Chronic subsidy and MediSave limits to offset the cost of video consultations, related drugs and investigations.

Healthcare workers who wish to provide video consultations for this group of patients must undergo telemedicine e-training to familiarise themselves with the best practice, MOH said. 

It added that healthcare providers should only carry out video consultations for patients that they had previously consulted in-person. 

This is so that they can confirm the patient’s suitability for video consultation before its use.

Should the patient later require a physical examination, the provider should then ask the patient to go to the clinic for a face to face consultation, it said.

The list of healthcare institutions offering video consultations for patients with chronic conditions under Chas subsidy and MediSave payment can be found on MOH’s website from April 3. 

The number of providers will be progressively increased as more adopt video consultations.

“Patients may also wish to check with their healthcare provider to ascertain their suitability for video consultations of the selected chronic conditions,” MOH said. 

Related topics

Covid-19 coronavirus Chas subsidy MOH telemedicine MediSave

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