Forum: Mentally challenged should have access to adequate insurance support

Posed photo of a person with depression.
Posed photo of a person with depression.ST PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG

Mr Teo Kueh Liang correctly points out that employers are reluctant to hire and accept people with mental illness (Many firms not ready to accept people with mental illness, Nov 5).

Apart from factors such as stigma, one of the major hindrances faced is the inability of employers to get adequate medical insurance protection. Most group employee benefits policies specifically exclude all forms of mental illness.

In other countries, mental illness is treated the same way as other illnesses. In such a scenario, persons with many forms of mental irregularities can get coverage under their employers' insurance policies.

The MediShield Life scheme provides limited cover and only in the area of hospitalisation, with most mentally challenged persons getting no assistance for the expensive outpatient treatment they regularly need.

I would like to urge all concerned to work with both the private and government sectors towards ensuring that mentally challenged persons have access to adequate medical insurance support for both in-hospital and outpatient treatment.

There are many who, if given prompt and adequate treatment, can get back to work as soon as they feel better. Many postpone their visits to clinics and hospitals because of their inability to pay for their treatment costs, aggravating their condition.

Uttam Pritamdas Kripalani