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Double MediSave withdrawal cap for chemotherapy

Today, withdrawals for chemotherapy from MediSave, the national medical-savings scheme, are capped at S$1,200 a month.
This is barely enough to cover the costs of cancer treatment, based on the experiences of a relative who has undergone chemotherapy and other patients I talked to.

The S$1,200 cap on MediSave withdrawals for chemotherapy is barely enough to cover the monthly costs of cancer treatment, the writer says.

The S$1,200 cap on MediSave withdrawals for chemotherapy is barely enough to cover the monthly costs of cancer treatment, the writer says.

David Soh Poh Huat

Today, withdrawals for chemotherapy from MediSave, the national medical-savings scheme, are capped at S$1,200 a month.

This is barely enough to cover the costs of cancer treatment, based on the experiences of a relative who has undergone chemotherapy and other patients I talked to.

The MediSave cap has been in place for many years and has not factored in increases due to inflation.

Each chemotherapy session can cost S$4,000 or more, depending on the drug. While patients may also tap the MediShield Life health-insurance plan for chemotherapy — capped at S$3,000 a month — the Ministry of Health (MOH) should review the MediSave cap and double it to at least S$2,400.

This is because patients undergo an average of two chemotherapy sessions a month, which can cost up to S$10,000.

With new drugs being introduced over the years, the cost of chemotherapy has been on the rise and this has taken a toll on patients. This is unlike other treatments, such as dialysis, where costs largely remain fixed.

At times, the side effects of cancer drugs, such as swollen legs or hands, may also necessitate treatment and other incidental expenses.

The MOH should also expand MediShield Life to help patients to pay for other types of treatment, such as physiotherapy, to counter these side effects.

Related topics

MediSave MOH chemotherapy cancer healthcare

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