Singapore healthcare policies
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Singapore – Healthcare Policies. Tan Yu Yang (23) Terre Chua (24) Zou Xiangyu (31). ‘The 3M system’. M edisave (1984) M edishield (1990) M edifund (1993). Medisave . Implemented in April 1984 Similar to America’s ‘health savings account’

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Singapore healthcare policies

Singapore – Healthcare Policies

Tan Yu Yang (23)

Terre Chua (24)

ZouXiangyu (31)

The 3m system
‘The 3M system’

  • Medisave (1984)

  • Medishield (1990)

  • Medifund (1993)


  • Implemented in April 1984

  • Similar to America’s ‘health savings account’

  • Every month, 6.5%-9%* of salary is deposited into Medisave

  • Money deposited can be used to pay for personal or immediate family’s hospitalization, day surgery and certain outpatient expenses bills

  • Compulsory

* depends on age group


  • Contributions to the Medisave account has a limit of $34,500

  • Medisave can be claimed only if the patient stays in the hospital for at least 8 hours (unless the patient is admitted for day surgery)

Medisave claim limits
Medisave – Claim limits

  • Medical / surgical inpatient casesS$450 per day for daily hospital charges for patients admitted on or after 1 May 2007. S$400 per day for daily hospital charges for patients admitted before 1 May 2007. This includes a maximum of S$50 for doctor's daily attendance fees.

  • Approved day surgeriesUp to S$300 per day for daily hospital charges for surgeries done on or after 1 May 2007. Up to S$200 per day for surgeries done before 1 May 2007.

  • Surgical operations (inpatient and day surgery)A fixed limit - depending on the complexity of the operation

Medisave claim limits1
Medisave – Claim limits

  • A list of claim limits and table of surgical operation is available on our wikispace:


  • A list of approved outpatient treatments which can be paid by Medisave is also available on our wikispace

Medisave for the self employed
Medisave for the self-employed

  • Only self-employed persons who earn more than $6,000 a year would need to contribute to Medisave

  • The amount of Medisave they are required to contribute is capped based on an annual income ceiling of $60,000 for income earned in 2005 and $54,000 for income earned in 2006.

  • Details of Medisave contribution for the self-employed can be found in CPF Board's website

Use of medisave
Use of Medisave

  • MOH will allow the use of Medisave to help pay part of the outpatient cost, and reduce out of pocket payment for patients

  • For each bill, patients will only need to pay the first $30 of the bill (as the deductible) as well as 15 per cent of the balance of the bill. Medisave can be used to pay for the remaining amount.

  • This is regardless of whether the bill is for a one-off visit or a package.


  • Implemented in 1990

  • Acts like a medical insurance: helps pay part of the large hospitalisation bills for treatment of serious illnesses or prolonged hospitalisations (even after Medisave coverage)

  • From 1 December 2007, it has been restructured to be provided to all newborns and SPRs

  • Only claimable for approved medical services performed in Singapore


  • Medishield will cover up to 80% of your large medical bill at the Class B2/C level

  • Medishield covers hospitalization expenses, surgery/day surgery and certain approved outpatient treatments, such as kidney dialysis, chemotherapy and radiotherapy for cancer treatment


  • Medishield is designed for Class B2/C wards, so for hospital stays in higher class wards/private hospitals  Medishield claim will be calculated based on a percentage of your hospital bill

  • Similarly, if you go for unsubsidised day surgery, your Medishield claim will be calculated based on a percentage of your bill

Medisheild claims based on
Medisheild claims based on… citizen and SPR

  • Citizenship: Singapore citizen, Permanent Resident, Foreigner

  • Age group: e.g. “30 and under”, “51-60”, “84-85” etc.

  • Class of wards/type of hospitals: Class B2/C, higher class wards (e.g. A/B), government/private hospital

  • Length of medical procedure/hospitalization: e.g. “54 days incl. 2 days in ICU”

  • Type of medical procedure: e.g. pancreas and gall bladder operation, implants, colonoscopy etc.

Why is it a good policy1
Why is it a good policy? citizen and SPR

  • Gives benefits to both Singapore citizens and non-citizens (SPRs and foreigners)

  • ensure the harmony between the different groups in the society and even foreigners are given this benefit, thus ensuring that everyone in Singapore is given the same benefit, while giving Singaporeans more subsidy in their healthcare prices

  • encourages Singaporeans to continue staying in Singapore to receive such benefits and also to encourage foreign talents in Singapore to become Singaporeans so as to receive more benefits.

Why is it a good policy2
Why is it a good policy? citizen and SPR

  • Policy is an opt-out* one, thus government is actually providing citizens and non-citizens  in times of economic crises, they will still have enough money to pay for hospital bills

  • Ensures that regardless of religion and race, everyone will receive the same amount of benefit, ensuring social stability

  • Only applies to certain government hospitals, which in turn will encourage citizens to visit government hospitals rather than private ones, thereby helping to contribute to Singapore’s economy

*An opt-out policy means that it is not compulsory; however, you must opt-out of it if you do not wish to participate in it.

Medifund citizen and SPR

  • Implemented in 1993

  • Endowment fund set up by the Government as a safety net to help poor and indigent Singaporeans pay for their medical care

  • Acts as a last resort for patients who, despite heavy Government subsidies, Medisave and Medishield, are unable to pay for their medical expenses

  • Patients receiving inpatient treatment in Class B2/C wards or subsidised outpatient treatment in the public hospitals may apply for help from Medifund

Medifund criteria
Medifund - Criteria citizen and SPR

  • Medifund is not an entitlement!, only for Singapore citizens facing hardship

  • Patients have to fulfil certain income criteria before their applications can be approved. The amount of help from Medifund will depend on individual circumstances and the patient's financial background.

  • Hospital Medifund Committee considers the application

  • The applicant must exhaust all other funds (e.g. Medisave) first before the balance is being considered for Medifund

Medifund limitations
Medifund - Limitations citizen and SPR

  • No limitations to age, gender, race, religion

  • Limited to Singapore citizens only

  • Limited to certain hospitals, specialist centres and voluntary welfare organisations

  • Limited to patients in Class B2 and C wards, subsidised outpatient treatments

  • Available to all medical and healthcare services (including day surgery, hospitalisation etc.) EXCEPT respite care and delivery

Why is it a good policy3
Why is it a good policy? citizen and SPR

  • Eases financial burden of less well-to-do families (esp. in times of economic crises)

  • Not limited to race or religion: thus making it fair for all Singapore citizens who meet the other criterias to apply

  • Gives more support to elderly Singaporeans with no Medisave or who did not accumulate enough Medisave because the Scheme was implemented too late for them

Why is it a good policy4
Why is it a good policy? citizen and SPR

  • Provides good welfare for all Singaporean citizens, regardless of gender, race, religion or age (ensures social stability), thus making it a sound and fair policy

  • Equal racial treatmentand consideration for Singapore’s ageing population