New council to ensure MediShield Life runs smoothly

PHOTO: The Straits Times

A new council is being set up next month to ensure that everything goes smoothly when MediShield Life is launched later this year.

Its job is to review the compulsory health insurance scheme from time to time, recommending changes to ensure that citizens continue to get adequate and affordable coverage.

The council will also advise the Health Minister on matters related to the investment of the funds under MediShield Life.

These funds include any premiums, penalties for late payments, and government grants to the scheme.

Its 12 members come from both the public and private sectors, and include accountants, lawyers, doctors and civil servants.

"This ensures that the council can benefit from the wide-ranging expertise and experience of the members in the administration and review of MediShield Life," said the Health Ministry in a statement yesterday.

The council's chairman will be Mrs Fang Ai Lian, an accountant who is currently serving as an adviser for Far East Organisation.

She served as a Nominated Member of Parliament from 2002 to 2006, and is the first woman to head the Singapore office of international accounting firm Ernst & Young.

She has also been a recipient of the Public Service Medal.

Her deputy, lawyer Hee Theng Fong, is a consultant at Harry Elias Partnership. He has handled more than 100 cases in civil litigation and arbitration.

The other council members include Dr Tan Yew Oo, a medical oncology specialist to several private hospitals, and Ms K. Thanaletchimi, who is president of the Health Services Employees' Union.

Council members are appointed by the Health Minister. Their terms will last two years, ending on July 31, 2017.

Speaking on behalf of the council, Mrs Fang said that they were "honoured to play a role" in the scheme.

She added: "My council members and I are committed to help ensure the relevance and sustainability of this healthcare safety net for all Singaporeans."

This article was first published on July 31, 2015.
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