We thank Mr Tan Keong Boon for his letter (Healthcare cost: Help those who have lost co-pay option, Dec 10).
Pioneer Generation (PG) and Merdeka Generation (MG) seniors are eligible for subsidies when they are referred to public specialist outpatient clinics (SOCs) not only by polyclinics but also by Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas) general practitioner clinics.
Subsidised patients at the SOCs can receive up to 75 per cent subsidies for outpatient care. PG and MG seniors also enjoy additional subsidies for subsidised services and medications.
PG and MG seniors who are already private patients at the public hospitals' SOCs can approach the SOC staff to apply to switch to become subsidised patients if they wish to enjoy the additional PG and MG subsidies. The quality of care provided to subsidised patients, who are assigned doctors, is no different from that for private patients.
The Ministry of Health will continue to ensure that healthcare remains affordable for Singaporeans. Patients who face financial difficulties with their medical bills even after subsidies, MediShield Life and Medisave, may approach medical social workers at the public healthcare institutions for assistance.
No Singaporean will be denied appropriate medical care due to an inability to pay.
Chan Beng Seng
Group Director, Subvention
Ministry of Health