140,000 people automatically qualify for Chas scheme

Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam (centre) and his wife (left) having a chat with Madam Koh Lee, who is 101 years old, on Sunday, Jan 19, 2014. About 140,000 people have automatically come on board the Community Health Assistance
Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam (centre) and his wife (left) having a chat with Madam Koh Lee, who is 101 years old, on Sunday, Jan 19, 2014. About 140,000 people have automatically come on board the Community Health Assistance Scheme (Chas) since the beginning of the month, after various restrictions on the scheme were lifted. -- PHOTO: DIOS VINCOY JR FOR THE STRAITS TIMES

About 140,000 people have automatically come on board the Community Health Assistance Scheme (Chas) since the beginning of the month, after various restrictions on the scheme were lifted.

They are family members of people who were already benefitting from subsidies under the scheme before the enhancements were made.

The latest changes include expanding the scheme to all family members in households where per capita income is $1,800. Previously, only those aged 40 and above could qualify for the scheme.

There are currently more than 520,000 Chas card holders, said Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam at a community event today, where he was presenting cards to families who have newly qualified for the scheme.

"I'm happy to share also that there are now over 600 GP clinics and 370 dental clinics on Chas islandwide - this is close to half of all GP and dental clinics in Singapore," he added.

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