Monday 18 November 2013

More needy, elderly helped with Medifund

By Joanna Seow, The Straits Times, 15 Nov 2013

MORE needy and elderly patients received help with their medical bills from Medifund in the last financial year, the Health Ministry (MOH) said yesterday.

Over $100 million in aid was disbursed, up from $90 million the year before.

A third of this went to elderly patients, an increase of 19 per cent.

Medifund helps low-income Singaporeans who are unable to afford their bills despite government subsidies, and after dipping into their Medisave and MediShield accounts.

Over 587,000 Medifund applications were approved last year, up from 518,000, with 93 per cent resulting in outstanding subsidised bills being fully paid for.

On average, the amount of assistance was $1,471 for inpatient treatment and $107 for outpatient treatment.

Of the money disbursed, $86 million went to patients in the acute sector - such as those in hospitals - while around $16 million went to those in the intermediate and long-term care sector, such as those in nursing homes.

The Government injected a total of $600 million into Medifund in the last financial year.

MOH said in its media release yesterday that it would continue to strengthen the health-care financing framework here.

Patients in restructured hospitals or approved nursing homes who wish to apply for Medifund assistance can approach medical social workers there.

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