Drop in Medifund disbursement
A total of $155.2 million in Medical Endowment Fund (Medifund) assistance was provided to help patients with their medical bills in Financial Year 2015 (FY2015) which ended on March 31 this year. The figure was $159.3 million the previous year, said the Ministry of Health yesterday.
Medifund assistance for care in public hospitals and institutions totalled $129.2 million in FY2015 – down from the $135.7 million in FY2014.
But assistance disbursed for intermediate and long-term care increased from $23.6 million to $26 million over the same period.
This comes even as the number of applications approved for Medifund and Medifund Silver assistance grew 9 per cent to reach 1,096,628 in FY2015. The ministry said 99.9 per cent of Medifund applications received were approved.
The average amount of Medifund assistance provided was $1,529 per inpatient treatment and $77 per outpatient treatment, it said.
Introduced in 1993, Medifund assists Singaporeans who can't afford their medical bills after Government subsidies and tapping on their MediShield Life, private insurance, Medisave and cash payments.
The Medifund scheme has been enhanced over the years to provide better support to those who need additional assistance.
For instance, Medifund Silver and Medifund Junior were introduced to better target assistance towards the elderly and children.
Medifund has also been extended to cover more healthcare services over the years.