MediShield may cover big outpatient expenses

The scope of both medical insurance and medical savings will likely be expanded under the current review of how healthcare is to be financed.

MediShield, the national medical insurance, might be expanded to cover expensive out-of-hospital treatments, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said on Sunday, while Medisave might cover the cost of home hospice care.

MediShield now covers only large hospital bills and outpatient treatments for cancer, kidney failure and organ transplant.

Said Mr Gan: "We are seriously considering moving MediShield beyond hospitals, for example, to cover expensive outpatient treatments."

He was speaking at the sidelines of a healthcare financing dialogue organised by Reach, the government's feedback unit, following the announcement last month that the Ministry of Health is doing a thorough reviewing of how healthcare is financed.