Parliament to debate inflation, Medishield issues
Keith Lin
Fri, Nov 09, 2007
The Straits Times

THE rising cost of living will be high on the agenda when Parliament sits on Monday.

Two MPs have tabled questions linked to concerns that fast-rising food prices are causing a dent in Singaporeans??? wallets. The price of wheat, for example, is at global historic highs due to droughts in Australia and crop failures in the US. This in turn has pushed up cost of animal feed and meat.

MP for Jurong GRC Halimah Yacob, who will quiz Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang on what the govenrment is doing, said more can be done to promote alternative food sources.

'For example, the price of chicken may be rising fast, but we can encourage Singaporeans to turn to alternative sources of protein, such as fish,' she told The Straits Times.

Issues relating to the MediShield scheme are also expected to receive a prominent airing, with three questions tabled on the topic.

One is from MP for Jalan Besar GRC Denise Phua, who wants Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan to clarify whether special-needs children are covered under the health insurance scheme.

'Many families with such children have told me that commerical insurance providers do not provide medical cover for those with mild disabilities, such as Asperger's Syndrome,' Ms Phua said.

She hopes the Government can help reduce their medical bills, which may stretch over their lifespans, by including their illnesses under Medishield coverage. '

I hope that the Government will give these children a chance to have their medical problems covered,' she said.

Five new Bills will be introduced, while another five Bills introduced earlier are up for debate.

One slated for debate is the National Registry of Diseases Bill, which calls for the setting up of a national disease database to collate data on common illnesses. Other parliamentary questions include three by Ms Ellen Lee (Sembawang GRC), who will ask various ministers for measures to combat cyber-addiction, and one by Madam Ho Geok Choo (West Coast GRC) on ways to prevent the property market from over-heating.

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