Parliamentary committee report urges tweaks to Medisave
Parliamentary committee report urges tweaks to heath-care financing
Medisave should be used to cover more services and MediShield should pay for a larger share of treatment bills, according to the Government Parliamentary Committee (GPC) for Health.
These were among a slew of changes to health-care financing that it recommended in a report to Health Minister Gan Kim Yong yesterday. Led by GPC head Dr Lam Pin Min, the team of eight MPs gathered feedback from the public, health-care professionals and social workers.
Its suggestions include widening subsidies to cover more medicines, reviewing Medisave limits regularly, and removing age limits for health insurance and the portable primary care subsidy.
GPCs are groups of People's Action Party backbenchers who take a special interest in the workings of a ministry. They are regularly briefed by the ministry and consulted on issues of public interest. But it is unusual for them to issue a public report like this.
Suggestions at a glance
- Set same limits for care in and outside of hospital.
- Introduce tiered withdrawal limits, allowing older people to withdraw more.
- Let Medisave cover more treatments, such as health screening and dental work.
- Review limits regularly to ensure they are relevant.
- Get people to pay more in premiums when young.
- Cover social and community care costs.
- Make insurance kick in earlier and cover more of the bill.
- Remove age limit of 90, when MediShield drops cover.
- Ensure Medisave top-ups from the Government are used only to pay premiums.
- Remove lower age limit of 40 for Community Health Assist Scheme.
- Allow patients referred to a hospital by a GP to enjoy subsidies so they don't need to be referred by a polyclinic.
- Subsidise more essential medicines.
- Means-test patients only once and apply results to all schemes that enjoy subsidy.
- Publish private sector fees online, including what GPs charge.