SINGAPORE: About 8,600 elderly Singaporeans suffered from hearing impairment and sought treatment in 2012, compared to 6,800 cases attended to by hospitals in 2010.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong revealed these figures in Parliament on Monday in response to a question by Er Dr Lee Bee Wah, MP for Nee Soon GRC.
Of the 8,600 seniors, Mr Gan said about 1,500 or 17 per cent needed a hearing aid and went through a hearing aid evaluation test.
About 800 seniors took up the use of these hearing aids, which cost about $1,000 to $1,500.
But Mr Gan said Medisave does not cover this.
"Medisave coverage does not extend to the purchase of hearing aid because Medisave is primarily meant to support large hospitalisation bills. We need to be careful not to over expand the use of Medisave so that Singaporeans will still have enough in their Medisave to cover their hospitalisation expenses. To help the low—income elderly, the Centre for Enabled Living (CEL) has a Special Assistance Fund that provides subsidy for such hearing aids," he said.
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