I am the father of a young brain cancer patient who has no choice but to opt for inpatient treatments for his child, even though the exact same treatments are available for outpatients.
This is because my insurance company does not cover outpatient treatment bills.
In one instance, the hospital informed me that there were no beds, and 18 other children were on the waiting list. I opted for outpatient treatment for my son, knowing that those 18 children needed a bed more than he did. But the insurer refused to cover his treatment simply because he was an outpatient.
It is time for the authorities to mandate that insurers provide coverage based on the type of treatment rather than the outdated differentiation between inpatients and outpatients.
With medical advances, many procedures that required hospitalisation in the past can now be performed on outpatients.
Forcing insurance companies to redefine their coverage will ease the bed crunch in public hospitals.
Mohamed Yatim Abdul Ghani
This article was published on April 2 in The Straits Times.
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