There is now extra help for children from needy families as the Ministry of Health announces a new fund to defray mounting healthcare costs. Read on to find out more.
In a move that is in line with the new Marriage and Parenthood package announced by the Government earlier this week, the Health Ministry said in a statement that it will set aside $8 million annually under a new Medifund Junior scheme to help needy Singaporean families defray their children’s healthcare bills. The scheme is applicable for children up to the age of 18.
MOH believes that by creating Medifund Junior, it can target more financial assistance for sick children from needy families.
How it can help
Looking at how Medifund has helped needy families, a report in Channel News Asia states that on average, top women and children’s hospital, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) has an average of 400 Medifund applications a month with a 95% success rate. However, as Medifund is targeted at lower income families, the middle income families usually get left out as they don’t meet the minimum criteria.
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong says that with Medifund Junior, the middle income families left with huge hospital bills can be considered for Medifund Junior. He says, “Some of them, even though they are from the middle income families, some of the bills can be quite costly. So for these large bills, we are giving the hospitals more flexibility under the Medifund Junior to be able to help these middle income families.”
What this means is that middle income families could get more opportunities to help defray their children’s huge medical bills.
Congenital and neonatal conditions included
In line with the new medical schemes announced by the Government earlier this week, congenital or neonatal conditions diagnosed before 1st March will also be able to use the new fund to help defray costs. These include stays at the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at KKH which can range anywhere from $10,00 to $100,000 for extremely serious cases.