MediShield Life panel to hold first public discussion

MediShield Life panel to hold first public discussion

A high-powered team put together by the Ministry of Health (MOH) to design the new MediShield Life by May next year will be holding its first public discussion on Nov 27.

It is one of about 15 consultations, involving up to 50 people each, between now and March - all to help them understand the concerns of as wide a spectrum of people as possible.

This review committee's work to enlarge the national insurance scheme, MediShield, into one which covers every single resident regardless of age or health, started on Friday with its first meeting at NTUC Centre.

The panel will submit its recommendations in May, with the scheme targeted to start in 2015. Its key task: to raise benefits while maintaining affordability.

Headed by retired accountant and presidential adviser Bobby Chin, who promised to give regular updates, the 11-member team includes captains of industry, financial experts, health-care heads, grassroots leaders and a union leader. Many of them hope to speak up for the groups they represent.

Ms Diana Chia, president of NTUC, said it was good that workers' voice would be heard. She would be holding separate focus group discussions with members to get their input.

Mr Patrick Lee, chairman of Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital, and Mr V. Tamilselvam, chairman of Cheng San Community Club, promised to put forward the concerns of the poor and needy, and those from the grassroots.

Lawyer Abdul Rohim Sarip, who is on the Medifund Advisory Council, also said he was familiar with the problems faced by people facing huge hospital bills.

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