SINGAPORE: A total of S$155.2 million in Medical Endowment Fund (Medifund) assistance was provided in Financial Year 2015, less than the S$159.3 million provided in the previous year, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday (Nov 23).
According to the ministry's press release, Medifund assistance for care in public hospitals and institutions totalled S$129.2 million in FY2015, down from the S$135.7 million the year before. But aid increased from S$23.6 million to S$26 million in the Intermediate and Long-Term Care segment over the same period, it added.
In addition, 99.9 per cent of Medifund applications received were approved, and the number of applications approved for Medifund and Medifund Silver grew 9 per cent year-on-year, from 1,006,168 in FY2014 to 1,096,628 in FY2015, the ministry said.
Between FY2012 and FY2015, Medifund assistance provided to patients had increased by 15 per cent every year on average, MOH said.
Recent outpatient subsidy enhancements for the lower- and middle-income and Pioneer Generation (PG) patients, as well as changes in Medisave coverage to allow more flexible use to cover more chronic conditions and scans, have improved overall affordability of healthcare and contributed to the lower Medifund assistance in FY2015, the ministry explained.
Introduced in 1993, Medifund assists Singaporeans who are unable to afford their medical bills, in spite of Government subsidies, and after tapping on their MediShield Life, private insurance, Medisave and cash payments.