Be more flexible with Medisave withdrawals

Dr Ong Siew Chey was absolutely correct in his assertion that the sharp rise in the number of people diagnosed with cancer cannot be explained on the basis of the ageing population ("Environmental factors contribute to cancer rates"; Tuesday).

Cancer and illness can strike any individual, regardless of age.

I am in my 40s, and all my life, I have been health-conscious. However, this year, I was diagnosed as suffering from advanced kidney cancer, and the malignant tumour had spread to my lungs and bones.

When I went for my health screening in April, my chest X-ray revealed suspicious lesions.

The medical team treating me could not establish the cause of my cancer, because this condition does not run in my family.

In order to obtain a proper diagnosis, I had to undergo a few CT scans. Each scan can cost $1,000 or more.

However, I discovered that the Central Provident Fund Board allows me to withdraw only $300 to $600 from my Medisave per year for CT scans.

I have adequate savings in my Medisave, so why is there a withdrawal limit imposed?

I suggest that the CPF Board exercise greater flexibility in allowing CPF members who have urgent medical needs to withdraw more money from their Medisave accounts.

It should also review members' withdrawal limits for diagnostic CT scans, rather than set a standard limit across the board.

Cancer should never be likened to a "death sentence". Just a day well lived with caring and empathetic friends is a bonus. That is the true sanctity and meaning of a well-lived life.

Ada Chan Siew Foen (Ms)