Parliament to discuss milk powder prices, telemedicine, Internet disruption

Parliament to discuss milk powder prices, telemedicine, Internet disruption

Two Government Bills will also be introduced - the Monetary Authority of Singapore (Amendment) Bill and the Home Team Corps Bill.

The Singapore flag on Parliament House. (File Photo: Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: Milk powder prices and the recently launched national video consultation platform for healthcare will be on the agenda when Parliament sits on Monday (May 8).

Three Members of Parliament (MPs) submitted questions on the increasing prices of infant formula, after recent figures from the Singapore Department of Statistics showed that the average price of a 900g tin more than doubled over the past decade between 2006 and 2016.

MP Tin Pei Ling noted that the rise of milk powder prices "far exceeds inflation rates and the increment in other countries," and wanted to know whether the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) would work with local distributors and retailers to ensure fair pricing. 

Mr Low Thia Khiang and Mr Sitoh Yih Pin also wanted to know if there were further plans to ensure that the cost of infant formula remained affordable. 

Meanwhile, two other MPs raised questions about using teleconferencing in healthcare - whether medical consultations by video can help to lower costs, and the criteria to determine what ailments can be addressed in this way without lowering standards of care.

Other issues on the agenda include the Internet service outage in Jurong West that was caused by a cable cut and what authorities are doing to prevent a repeat of such incidents, as well as how the mergers of junior colleges would affect the supply of A-Level graduates for university admission.

A total of 57 questions were submitted for oral answer and 39 for written answer. 

Two Government Bills will be introduced - the Monetary Authority of Singapore (Amendment) Bill and the Home Team Corps Bill.

Another six will be up for second reading, including the Public Entertainments and Meetings (Amendment) Bill, which proposes tighter regulations for entertainment outlets.

Source: CNA/mz