More help for Singaporeans with sick babies

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Parents facing financial difficulties when it comes to their babies medical bills can now rejoice as new health care measures means MediShield covers more medical costs incurred by infants.

More financial help for babies born prematurely...

In a move that will have parents rejoicing, MediShield will now be covering the bulk of expenses incurred by ailing infants. The measure to extend coverage for congenital and neonatal conditions which were announced earlier this year under the parenthood package took effect from March 1, 2013.

A welcome help
In an AsiaOne report, parents with children born with birth defects are already feeling the effects of the changes. Madam Nordiana, who gave birth to her second child at 30 weeks, almost 2 months premature, was facing enormous medical bills as her son’s required an extended stay in the neonatal intensive care unit (Nicu) due to his undeveloped lungs.

Fortunately for her, she gave birth on the 2nd of March which means she is able to make use of MediShield to cover part of the medical expenses incurred.

Neonatal conditions are expensive to treat
Singapore is seeing more premature babies as well as those born with serious health conditions. On average hospitals see around 800 babies who are born with serious defects and treatment does not come cheap.

Citing a case of a baby born in early March who had problems in the digestive tract and needed surgery, Associate Professor Victor Samuel Rajadurai, head of neonatology at KKH, says that “Even at C class rates (the most subsidised rates), the bill was $11,500.”

Fortunately for the couple their infant was born this month and MediShield will pick up the majority of the cost.

Medifund Junior to the rescue
Parents with kids born before March 1 should not despair either as they can now turn to Medifund Junior for help to defray exorbitant medical bills incurred by their children.

This safety net comes with a generous $8 million a year set aside for families with ailing children — $2 million more than what was given out last year. The fund can help parents with children up till the age of 18 with significant medical bills to ease the financial burden.

What do you think of these changes? Have you benefited from them and do you think it’s enough or can the government do more to help parents.

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