More money paid out by Medifund this financial year: MOH

Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital patients playing mahjong and watching TV. Financial aid scheme Medifund paid out more money this financial year, said the Health Ministry in a statement on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: ST FILE
Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital patients playing mahjong and watching TV. Financial aid scheme Medifund paid out more money this financial year, said the Health Ministry in a statement on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Financial aid scheme Medifund paid out more money this financial year, said the Health Ministry in a statement on Wednesday.

About $130 million was handed out this year, a 27 per cent increase from $102 million a year ago.

About a third of this amount - or $43 million - went towards elderly patients, up from $33 million last year. The Ministry also approved 30 per cent more Medifund applications this year, from 587,000 last year to 766,000 this year.

In the statement, the Ministry said that the increased amount of Medifund assistance "reflected the wider range of services covered by Medifund".

Medifund was set up in 1993 to help Singaporeans who are unable to afford their medical bills even after tapping on Medisave and MediShield. It varies according to the patient's financial situation.

This year, about 93 per cent of approved applications received full assistance. On average, applicants received $1,579 per inpatient treatment, and $103 per outpatient treatment.