- POSTED: 07 Jan 2014 09:12
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The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has put forward its healthcare proposals to the MediShield Life Review Committee and signalled its willingness to take part in consultations for the ongoing review of the insurance scheme.
SINGAPORE: The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) has put forward its healthcare proposals to the MediShield Life Review Committee and signalled its willingness to take part in consultations for the ongoing review of the insurance scheme.
Announcing the submission on its website, SDP Secretary-General Chee Soon Juan said it looks forward to participating constructively in the consultation process and bringing a fresh and much-needed perspective to the topic.
His letter dated January 6 to MediShield Life Review Committee Chairman Bobby Chin was also published online.
MediShield is a basic medical insurance scheme designed to help patients meet large hospitalisation bills in B2 or C Class wards.
An 11-member committee was appointed in November and will submit its recommendations to the Health Ministry in May. Several focus group discussions have been held so far and enhancements are expected to be implemented next year.
The SDP's submission consists of the party's alternative healthcare plan launched in 2012 that proposes - among other suggestions - a single-payer universal healthcare system with the government managing a central health investment fund. It proposes that the government eventually foot about 75 per cent of healthcare spending, with the remainder privately funded.
Singaporeans and permanent residents will make annual contributions to the health investment fund, with singles earning more than S$1,500 monthly or married people whose family income exceeds S$3,500 contributing S$600 to S$700 a year. Those earning less would contribute less or be fully subsidised.
The SDP also proposes co-payments of 10 per cent for all medical services, with caps or limits in place, except for acute self-limiting illnesses such as normal colds as well as non-essential items such as aesthetic treatment.
The SDP said its scheme would make Medisave and MediShield redundant, while the Medifund endowment fund would be incorporated into the proposed health investment fund. Ward classes would also be removed at public hospitals.
The government currently shoulders about 33 per cent of healthcare costs and Health Minister Gan Kim Yong has said the proportion will go up to 40 per cent or more.