Government cuts healthcare subsidies for PRs

PHOTO: Government cuts healthcare subsidies for PRs

SINGAPORE - The Government announced today through a press release that the healthcare subsidies for Permanent Residents are to be reduced, starting from the third quarter of this year.

The Ministry of Health said that the changes mean that most PRs will soon enjoy only about half the subsidies citizens enjoy.

This is to draw a further distinction in the privileges offered to citizens as compared to PRs.

The adjustments will apply to inpatient services of Class B2 and C wards, day surgery and specialist outpatient clinics in restructured hospitals, and intermediate and long-term care services.

For example, a patient of an average monthly income of $3,200 and below staying in a Class C ward can currently receive a subsidy rate of 60 per cent.

Under the changes, the subsidy rate will be reduced to 55 per cent. The subsidy rate for citizens is 80 per cent.

PRs in the same income band staying under a Class B2 ward will see decrease of subsidy rates from 45 per cent to 40 per cent.

For day surgery, the subsidy rate for PRs is to be lowered to 40 per cent, down from 45 per cent.

For specialised outpatient clinics, the subsidy rate for PRs will be lowered to 25 per cent, down from 30 per cent.

The ministry said that the subsidy adjustments are different for lower income PRs, as it is mindful of the impact of the changes.

The changes in restructured hospitals will be implemented in two phases, one in October this year and the next in April 2013, while that for the intermediate and long-term care sector will see the changes implemented in the third quarter of 2012.

Other changes include the lowering of subsidies for PRs for Community Hospitals and Residential Services and the fixing of subsidy rates of citizens for these services at 75 per cent.

This fixed subsidy rate will kick in from the third quarter of the year.