Updated: 07/09/2014 01:01

MediShield Life goes beyond healthcare and insurance: Gan Kim Yong

MediShield Life goes beyond healthcare and insurance: Gan Kim Yong

The concept of MediShield Life goes beyond healthcare and insurance. It is a reflection of the kind of society Singaporeans want to build. 

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said this in his opening speech of the debate on MediShield Life in Parliament today. 

A more inclusive society - where we pool our resources together to help the sick among us. 

And a more caring and progressive society - where those who are needy receive more help. 

Minister Gan Kim Yong says the MediShield Life scheme will enable Singapore to become such a society. 

And he is heartened that the feedback on the scheme so far, has been positive. 

However, he's also mindful that the scheme needs to remain affordable and sustainable in the longer term. 

"Otherwise our children's generation will be paying for the bulk of our healthcare costs when we are old. With a growing number of elderly, our children will face an immense burden if we do not manage overall costs. This is why we need to ensure that the Government, providers and patients all have a responsibility in paying for and managing healthcare costs so that their interests are aligned."

On whether the introduction of MediShield Life will affect Integrated Shield Plans - an enhancement to the current MediShield plan offered by private insurance companies , Mr Gan had this to say. 

"Singaporeans who are currently on IPs will not be disadvantaged with the introduction of MediShield Life. Given that MediShield Life will take on a larger share of IP pay-outs, MOH will work with IP providers to take this into account when they set IP premiums. The overall increase for IP premiums resulting from the introduction of MediShield Life is expected to be the same, if not lower than the increase in MediShield Life premiums." 

In his speech, Mr Gan also reiterated that no Singaporean will be denied coverage due to financial need. 

Permanent and short-term financial subsidies will be handed out to different groups of Singaporeans to help them cope with the premiums. 

-By Lee Gim Siong

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