Singapore — An elderly man shared with SDP’s Bryan Lim that even though he had more than S$40,000 in his MediSave Account, he was not able to use any of it for a dental procedure.
In a Facebook post on Monday (Mar 29), Mr Bryan Lim Boon Heng of the Singapore Democratic Party (SDP) shared that the 68-year-old retiree wrote to him last week “to express his disgust at not being able to use his Medisave for a simple tooth-filling procedure”.
Mr Lim added that the elderly Mr Tan received monthly Central Provident Fund (CPF) payouts of S$580. He noted that while the man did have a 30 per cent subsidy by using his Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) card, the rest of the bill would have to come out of the elderly man’s own pocket.
According to Mr Lim, Mr Tan would have to pay about $107 for the dental filling.
“Why make life so convoluted? I can afford the $107 from my own Medisave. Why make me pay cash, pretend to be generous and give me 30%? It is confusing & wasteful”, Mr Tan wrote.
“The very fact the government has to supplement the current 3Ms (Medisave, Medishield & Medifund) in our healthcare system with CHAS & top ups/subsidies in the Pioneer & Merdeka Generations packages only raises more questions than answers in terms of addressing the spiralling healthcare costs & the increasing unaffordability of healthcare for the man on the street”, Mr Lim wrote.
He explained that the SDP has proposed a “National Health Investment Fund” where individuals will contribute a regular premium to an insurance-like system when they do not require the service so that the cost will not be prohibitive when they require it.
Said Mr Lim: “Healthcare is a fundamental human right which needs to be addressed by a just and equitable system that makes it affordable for even the poorest among us”.
TISG has reached out to the CPF board for comment and clarification. /TISGFollow us on Social Media
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