About $130 million in Medifund assistance was provided to needy patients to help with their medical expenses in FY2013, an increase of 27% from the $102 million a year ago. Elderly patients received about $43 million of this aid, or 30% more from about $33 million a year ago. The number of Medifund applications approved also increased by about 30% over the same period, from 587,000 in FY2012 to 766,000 in FY2013. This higher amount of Medifund assistance given reflected the wider range of services covered by Medifund and was supported by Government’s capital injection of $1 billion in FY2013.    

2          Medifund, or the Medical Endowment Fund, was set-up in 1993 to assist Singapore Citizens who are unable to afford their medical bills, despite government subsidies and after tapping on their Medisave and MediShield. The amount of Medifund assistance varies according to the patient’s financial situation. Similar to last year, about 93% of the successful applications received full assistance, and these patients’ outstanding subsidised bills were fully paid for by Medifund. On average, the amount of Medifund assistance provided was $1,579 per inpatient treatment, and $103 per outpatient treatment.

3          Over the years, the scheme has been enhanced to ensure that those who need support continue to receive the help they need. For instance, Medifund Junior was introduced in 2013, to better target assistance at children from needy families. In the same year, Medifund was also extended to support patients who need care at the polyclinics or services such as dental, antenatal and delivery.

4          The Government has committed significant sums to Medifund over the years, to strengthen our social safety net and support these enhancements to Medifund. With the $1 billion injection into Medifund in FY13, the combined capital sums for Medifund and Medifund Silver stood at $4 billion at the end of the Financial Year. More details can be found in the Medical Endowment Scheme Annual Report 2013/2014 available here.

5          The Ministry of Health will continue to ensure that public healthcare remains affordable to Singaporeans.

29 OCTOBER 2014