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From Dec 8, patients unvaccinated by choice must foot their own Covid-19 medical bills: MOH

SINGAPORE — From Dec 8, Singapore will start charging Covid-19 patients who are not vaccinated against the disease by choice.

From Dec 8, patients unvaccinated by choice must foot their own Covid-19 medical bills: MOH

The Ministry of Health said that patients who are unvaccinated by choice may still tap their regular healthcare financing arrangements to settle their medical bills where applicable.

SINGAPORE — From Dec 8, Singapore will start charging Covid-19 patients who are not vaccinated against the disease by choice.

This will apply to all unvaccinated coronavirus patients admitted on or after Dec 8 to hospitals and Covid-19 treatment facilities, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced in a statement on Monday (Nov 8).

For patients who are partially vaccinated, they will not be charged until Dec 31 to allow them to receive the full course of their coronavirus vaccination.

This means that from Jan 1 next year, only fully vaccinated Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term pass holders who have not travelled recently will have their Covid-19 medical bills paid by the Government.

The Government will also still fully foot the medical bills of Covid-19 patients who are ineligible for vaccination — children below 12 and those who are medically unable to receive the jabs.

Right now, the Government is paying the full Covid-19 medical bills of all Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term pass holders, with the exception of those who test positive for the coronavirus soon after returning from overseas travel.

“This was to avoid financial considerations adding to public uncertainty and concern when Covid-19 was an emergent and unfamiliar disease,” MOH said.

“For the majority who are vaccinated, this special approach for Covid-19 bills will continue until the Covid-19 situation is more stable.”

At present, unvaccinated persons make up a sizeable majority of patients who need intensive care and disproportionately contribute to the strain on Singapore’s already-stretched healthcare resources, MOH said.

So far, 85 per cent of the population have received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine and 18 per cent have been given booster shots.

MOH said that patients who are not vaccinated by choice may still tap their regular healthcare financing arrangements to settle their medical bills where applicable.

Singaporeans and permanent residents may use regular government subsidies or their MediShield Life or Integrated Shield insurance plans.

Long-term pass holders who are not inoculated by choice may tap their usual financing arrangements such as private insurance.

9 IN 10 SENIORS VACCINATED

Separately, MOH said that it has been prioritising its outreach to seniors to encourage them to get vaccinated, since they are most vulnerable to serious forms of Covid-19. 

Right now, 94 per cent of people aged 60 to 69, and 90 per cent of those aged 70 and older, have received two doses of a vaccine. 

Eighty-two per cent of eligible persons aged 60 and above have received their boosters. 

At a press conference on Monday, the national Covid-19 task force was asked about the Government’s recommendation on which mRNA (messenger ribonucleic acid) vaccine people should get for their booster jab. 

In response, Associate Professor Kenneth Mak, MOH’s director of medical services, stated again that either vaccine by Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna is safe as a booster shot, and it was equally effective to stick to the one received for the first two doses or to switch to the other for the vaccine booster.

 

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Covid-19 coronavirus vaccine MOH bill payment hospital vaccination

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