Schemes to help manage medical costs

Use Medisave to help with your medical costs.
PHOTO: Schemes to help manage medical costs

SINGAPORE - Ms Tang Siew Ngoh asked the Ministry of Health to consider the inclusion of osteoporosis as a chronic condition to help offset her mother's medical costs ("Offer subsidy for osteoporosis drug"; Jan 9).

The Chronic Disease Management Programme (CDMP) helps to improve the care of patients with chronic conditions and helps them manage the cost of treatment via Medisave use.

The CDMP was expanded in January last year to include five additional conditions. There are now 15 chronic diseases under the programme.

We continually review our schemes, and will take Ms Tang's feedback into consideration in our reviews of the CDMP.

Ms Tang can tap other avenues to help with her mother's medical costs. The ministry recently made Medisave use more flexible by allowing patients to use up to $300 a year for outpatient scans needed for diagnosis and treatment. This includes magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.

Additionally, from April 1 this year, under the Flexi-Medisave scheme, elderly folk who are

65 years old and above can use Flexi-Medisave for outpatient medical treatment at public hospitals' specialist outpatient clinics, polyclinics and clinics participating in the Community Health Assist Scheme.

Singaporeans who face difficulty with their medical bills can approach the medical social workers, who will be able to assist them further.

The Medication Assistance Fund in our public health-care institutions, for example, helps eligible patients better afford non-standard drugs that have been assessed by the institutions' clinical review panels to be clinically necessary and appropriate for their conditions. This includes drugs used for the treatment of osteoporosis.

This article was first published on January 26, 2015.
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