SINGAPORE: All polyclinics vaccinations under the National Childhood Immunisation Schedule (NCIS) will be subsidised for Singaporeans by the end of 2020, and the subsidies will be extended to general practitioner clinics under the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS).
This was announced by the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday (Aug 28), as part of efforts to make childhood preventive healthcare more affordable and accessible.
Currently, most vaccinations under NCIS, such as Hepatitis B as well as measles, mumps and rubella, are fully subsidised at polyclinics.
With the changes, vaccinations for pneumococcal disease and human papillomavirus (HPV) will be subsidised as well - at both polyclinics and CHAS GPs.
Vaccinations listed in the NCIS are recommended for protection against common vaccine-preventable diseases in Singapore.
Those that are currently subsidised are for diseases that have a high outbreak potential, such as measles.
For vaccinations recommended for personal protection, such as the one against pneumococcal disease, take-up rates are “much lower”, said MOH, although they offer significant protection against disease.
Apart from vaccinations, the ministry announced that childhood developmental screenings will also be subsidised at the more than 1,000 CHAS GPs. They are currently only subsidised at polyclinics.
PASSPORT APPLICATION FEE TO BE WAIVED
These were among a range of measures announced on Wednesday to support marriage and parenthood, including pre-school subsidies and removing the age limit for women undergoing in-vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatments.
It was also announced that application fees will be waived for parents who are applying for their child's first passport. This applies to Singaporean children born after Jan 1, 2020.
The current application fee is S$70.
To enjoy the waiver, parents must submit the passport applications online before their children's first birthday.