Singapore Budget 2015: One in 3 Singaporeans now on health help scheme Chas

SINGAPORE - One in three Singaporeans - or 1.2 million people - are now on the Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas), said Minister of State for Health Lam Pin Min on Thursday.

This includes members of the pioneer generation, who are eligible for special Chas subsidies.

And around 500 new general practitioners (GPs) and dental clinics have come on board the scheme in the past year, making for a total of more than 1,300.

Dr Lam also said that the Health Ministry will be keeping a close eye on these clinics to make sure they do not abuse the scheme.

He was responding to a question by Jurong GRC MP Ang Wei Neng, who said he had received feedback that the cost of treatment at some Chas clinics is unexpectedly high.

Dr Lam noted that different clinics charge different prices, and that prices tend to vary depending on a patient's condition.

"But we expect Chas GPs to price reasonably, bearing in mind Chas patients are expected to be lower- to middle-income," he said.

"MOH closely monitors Chas claims submitted by clinics, and clinics will be called upon to account for any exceptional claims."

He encouraged patients to ask for itemised receipts if charges are not made clear, and added that they should call the Chas hotline if clinics do not make satisfactory replies.

linettel@sph.com.sg