SINGAPORE - Singaporeans with annual home values above $21,000 can apply for additional help if they have trouble coping with increased MediShield Life premiums, assured Health Minister Gan Kim Yong on Wednesday.
Those with annual home values above $21,000 will receive transitional subsidies to cope with the increase. However, they will not receive premium subsidies.
But Mr Gan recognised that while some Singaporeans own old homes of significant value, they do not earn much cash.
Addtional help will be provided for this group, he said. Such people can write in to the Ministry of Health for additional assistance when MediShield Life kicks in next year. Help will be rendered on a case-by-case basis. Mr Gan added.
He was speaking at the topping out ceremony of a patient rehabilitation facility in Simei, which will receive its first patients in December.
The new building, jointly managed by Changi General Hospital (CGH) and St Andrew's Community Hospital (SACH), will house 280 beds and provide rehabilitation to patients recovering from illnesses or accidents.
A new model of care, encouraging patient independence, will be applied in this facility called the Integrated Building. Instead of having their meals in bed, patients will be encouraged to walk to a dining room and eat with visiting family members, for example. This helps build up muscle mass and gets them prepared for independent life back home, said CGH's chief executive officer, Dr Lee Chien Earn.
SACH's day rehabilitation centre, currently at the ground floor of SACH, will also be relocated to the new building. With a near-doubling of capacity to 100 , the centre is expected to serve more patients.
SACH's medical social work and home care departments will also be located next to CGH's equivalent departments in the Integrated Building. This would help better co-ordinate care, said SACH's chief executive officer, Dr Loh Yik Han.
Both CGH and SACH have started training about 1,000 staff members in how to help patients to be as independent as possible.