Channel NewsAsia
Updated: 02/21/2014 23:26 | By Channel NewsAsia

Experts welcome healthcare subsidies but say more can be done

Experts welcome healthcare subsidies but say more can be done


Experts welcome healthcare subsidies but say more can be done

SINGAPORE: Some experts in the healthcare and insurance sectors welcomed the government's move to keep outpatient care and MediShield Life premiums more affordable through subsidies.

But they are concerned that this move does not fully address the need to have more support focused in the primary care sector.

Dr Ng Wai Chong, medical director at Hua Mei Centre for Successful Ageing, said: "The MediShield is only covering catastrophic conditions and there is still a huge deductible and co-payment so that could still be a burden for them.

“MediShield Life and SOC (specialist outpatient clinic) subsidies mainly support people using the hospital system and I think we really should think beyond hospital care for medical care, otherwise healthcare cost is still going to balloon."

Others felt that private insurers should be incentivised to play a bigger role in reducing healthcare costs in the system.

Lau Kam Yuen, partner and head of insurance at KPMG, said: "A lot of the insurers have significant experience in managing healthcare costs elsewhere in the world and those players can be brought into the market in Singapore to help in that regard."  - CNA/xq

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