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MediShield Life, MediSave helped nine in 10 subsidised patients cover chemotherapy costs

We thank Mr David Soh Poh Huat for his suggestion to raise MediSave withdrawal limits for outpatient chemotherapy (“Double MediSave withdrawal cap for chemotherapy”; June 18).

The Health Ministry says patients undergoing chemotherapy receive government subsidies, and may use MediShield Life and MediSave.

The Health Ministry says patients undergoing chemotherapy receive government subsidies, and may use MediShield Life and MediSave.

Cham Dao Song, Director, Finance Policy, Ministry of Health

We thank Mr David Soh Poh Huat for his suggestion to raise MediSave withdrawal limits for outpatient chemotherapy (“Double MediSave withdrawal cap for chemotherapy”; June 18).

The Ministry of Health (MOH) adopts a multi-tiered financing framework to support the healthcare expenses of Singaporeans. Patients who receive outpatient chemotherapy at public healthcare institutions can receive subsidies of up to 75 per cent. They can also tap MediShield Life, the national basic health-insurance plan, and MediSave, Singapore’s medical-savings scheme, to defray outpatient chemotherapy costs.

To enhance affordability, the MOH in 2015 raised MediShield Life claim limits for chemotherapy from S$1,240 for every 21-day or 28-day cycle to S$3,000 a month. Patients can use MediSave to pay for any outstanding amount after MediShield Life, up to a withdrawal limit of S$1,200 a month.

The MediShield Life and MediSave limits are generally sized to be adequate for subsidised treatments. Together, the MediShield Life and MediSave monthly limits were enough to fully cover chemotherapy costs for nine in 10 subsidised patients in 2017.

In addition to chemotherapy, patients can use MediSave to cover the costs of scans and other diagnostics needed for cancer treatment, up to a withdrawal limit of S$600 a year. This is designed to provide further peace of mind through different stages of recovery.

We will continue to review our financing frameworks to provide comprehensive support for patients.

Those who face difficulties with medical bills after government subsidies, MediShield Life and MediSave may approach medical social workers at public healthcare institutions for help. No Singaporean will be denied access to appropriate healthcare because of an inability to pay.  

Related topics

MediSave medishield life MOH chemotherapy healthcare

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