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MediFund gives out S$159.1 million in assistance to needy patients in FY2019, up from previous year

MediFund gives out S$159.1 million in assistance to needy patients in FY2019, up from previous year

File photo of people waiting for their prescriptions. (File photo: TODAY)

SINGAPORE: The Medical Endowment Fund (MediFund) provided S$159.1 million in healthcare assistance to needy Singaporeans in the last financial year which ended on Mar 31, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Wednesday (Dec 30).

This was an increase of S$2.6 million from the S$156.5 million disbursed in FY2018. 

MediFund, which was introduced in 1993, helps needy Singaporeans who cannot afford to pay for their medical bills after government subsidies, MediShield Life and MediSave.

There were more than 1.2 million successful applications for assistance in the last financial year, accounting for 99.7 per cent of all applications received, said MOH.

The number of approved applications was 23,769 fewer compared to FY2018, with a lower total number of applications contributing to the decrease. 

READ: MOH will strengthen Singapore's long-term healthcare system even as it fights COVID-19 - Gan Kim Yong

The increase in assistance was due to the support extended towards patients in intermediate and long-term care facilities, including the elderly, said MOH.

A total of S$36.2 million in assistance was provided to patients in such facilities, up 12.1 per cent from S$32.3 million in FY2018.

The bulk of assistance went towards patients in public hospitals and institutions, with S$122.8 million disbursed, down from S$124.2 million in the previous financial year.

READ: Ageing population, medical advancements among factors that contribute to rising healthcare costs - Koh Poh Koon

On average, the amount of MediFund assistance provided was about S$900 per inpatient treatment, and about S$90 per outpatient treatment, said MOH.

The ministry added that it will continue to work closely with the MediFund Committees to manage and administer the scheme, to ensure needy Singaporeans will receive "timely help" with their medical bills.

Source: CNA/dv(gs)

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