Singapore gov’t to help poor more in health care

SINGAPORE, (PNA/Xinhua) — Singapore government will do more to help Singaporeans cope with their medical bills, but those who are better off should not expect to receive the same degree of help as those who are poorer, a government minister has said.

Chan Chun Sing, minister for social and family development, sought to allay residents’ worries about rising medical costs at a community dialogue as he spelt out the government’s approach to health-care financing, local daily Straits Times reported on Monday.

“If each and every one of us just wants to take the maximum for ourselves, then we become a very selfish society,” Chan said.

“Those who have less, we should help them more,” he said in reply to a resident’s questions about how to cope with rising health-care costs.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, speaking at a rally last month, said the government will play a bigger role to build a fair society and will spend more to subsidize housing and healthcare costs. One of the key changes is for the MediShield Life, a basic health insurance scheme, to cover Singaporeans for life.

It is expected to fund a higher proportion of their hospital bills, it has also raised concerns as premiums are expected to go up.