MOH sets up body to discuss and resolve IP-related issues

Managing healthcare costs is a complex issue for which there are no simple solutions. PHOTO: ST FILE

Doctors and Integrated Shield Plan (IP) insurers, locked in a battle over insurers having a relatively small number of private specialists on their panels, are believed to have begun talks with the Ministry of Health (MOH) over the issue.

Two dialogues have been held since last October, The Straits Times understands.

The Life Insurance Association (LIA) Singapore said on Monday (March 29) that MOH has set up a committee comprising itself, the Singapore Medical Association (SMA) and the Academy of Medicine, Singapore (AMS) to discuss and resolve IP-related issues and refine the implementation of the Health Insurance Task Force recommendations.

"Managing healthcare costs is a complex issue for which there are no simple solutions," the LIA said on Friday, in another response to SMA's position statement on IPs last week that described such insurance plans as "troubled".

"At the same time, doing nothing is not an option because the current trajectory of healthcare cost increases in Singapore raises real sustainability concerns."

An SMA spokesman said on Friday: "With MOH helming talks between LIA, AMS and SMA, there has been some clarification and the beginning of a journey of understanding and collaboration.

"A lot more work lies ahead as the various stakeholders need to hold honest and sometimes painful discussions on existing problems, potential solutions and trade-offs."

ST has contacted MOH.

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