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We recently reported about the elderly couple, the Lims, who had to walk homeafter they were left without money because they spent their lastdollar paying for their polyclinic bill (see here). Such a tragic situation would not have happened under The SDP National Healthcare Plan.$CUT$
Under our Plan, the Lims would have been covered under the Full Subsidy scheme wherepatients do not have to pay for their medical treatment.Singaporeans who are not employed and have no income like the Lims qualify for such a scheme. But they will still receivequality healthcare like everyone else in society.
In fact, under the SDP Plan, ourelderly couple would not even have to go to thepolyclinic for consultation. They can go to the nearest GP clinic and they will beseen to without charge. The National Healthcare Investment Fund (NHIF) will take care of the doctor’s fees.
The NHIF is a single-payer scheme which necessitates all eligible Singaporeans to make monthly contributions through their CPF. Our Medisave accounts would be abolished and the money would be returned to our CPF accounts.
Contributions to the NHIF would depend on one’s income and the quantum is a fraction of what one currently pays into the Medisave. Under this Plan, the Government will contribute $10.5billion into the NHIF, bringing up its portion of the country’s totalhealthcare portion to 70 percent, in line with other advancedeconomies.
If one falls ill and are hospitalised, one pays only 10 percent of the bill – up toa maximum of $2,000 per year. The rest of the bill will be paid for by the NHIF.
In the Lims’ case, they will not be required to contribute to the NHIF but will receive healthcare like everyone else.
To make things easier, the Lims will be issued a National Healthcare Benefits Smart Card which they can use at all polyclinics, GP clinics, all private and public specialist clinics and hospitals that participate in the programme.
The card will contain information on payment requirements and utilisation history, as well as important medical information, including allergies, major medical conditions, and current medication the patient is on.
This will make administration much less cumbersome and the Lims will not have to run between the hospital and the polyclinic which at their age can be a traumatic experience.
The SDP Plan would provide universal, affordable and sustainable healthcare to all Singaporeans including taking care of our elderly poor like the Lims.