SINGAPORE - Subsidies will go only some way towards cushioning the premium increase when MediShield Life is launched, and some will be phased out anyway ("Subsidies, top-ups will cushion premium rise"; last Saturday).
The Ministry of Health can do more to help contain ever-rising health-care costs.
Most inpatient stays occur in restructured hospitals and, over the years, these facilities have raised their charges by rather substantial margins.
When I compared their charges with those of private health-care providers, I was surprised to find that restructured hospitals actually charge more for many diagnostic tests. This should not be the case. While restructured hospitals have to cover their operating costs, they cannot be too profit-driven.
Accumulating reserves in MediShield and, subsequently, MediShield Life is important but these should not be excessive. Having a reasonable amount of reserves will certainly help to curb rising costs. MediShield Life cannot and should not be about making money.
Tan Say Yin (Ms)