Forum: Cash outlay for costly eye treatment a burden

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of vision loss among seniors worldwide (Timely eye injections help preserve vision, Aug 1).

One of the experts in the article said that on average, a patient will need eight to 12 treatments in the first year of the disease in order to achieve the best outcome.

I was referred to the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC) Retina Centre on July 30. After some examination, it was confirmed that there was leakage in my eye.

The doctor recommended an injection immediately. The cost of each jab is $1,250, and more jabs would be required to be administered over - at minimum - three consecutive months.

The total bill for that one visit was $1,721.50 (including consultation and tests), but only $650 was deductible from Medisave.

The balance of $1,071.50 was paid by cash.

I am 64 years old and have $60,000 in my Medisave account, yet I am allowed to utilise only a small amount for each visit. It is a strain on old folk to shell out cash for every visit.

I appeal to the Government to amend the rule for those above 55 years old, and with Medisave balance of more than $50,000, to be allowed to use his account capped at $2,000 per visit.

Given our ageing population, cases of AMD could surely increase and many senior citizens will face the same predicament.

I hope the Government will look into this.

Ser Chong Jin