$155.2 million in Medical Endowment Fund (Medifund) assistance was provided to help patients with their medical bills in Financial Year 2015 (FY2015), compared to $159.3 million provided in FY2014. Introduced in 1993, Medifund assists Singaporeans who are unable to afford their medical bills, in spite of Government subsidies, and after tapping on their MediShield Life, private insurance, Medisave, and cash payments.

2 The key statistics for Medifund in FY2015 are as follows:

(i) Medifund assistance for care in public hospitals and institutions totalled to $129.2 million in FY2015, compared to $135.7 million in FY2014, while that in Intermediate and Long-Term Care (ILTC) increased from $23.6 million to $26.0 million in the same period;

(ii) In FY2015, 99.9% of the Medifund applications received were approved. The number of applications approved for Medifund and Medifund Silver assistance grew 9%, from 1,006,168 in FY2014 to 1,096,628 in FY2015;

(iii) The average amount of Medifund assistance provided was $1,529 per inpatient treatment and $77 per outpatient treatment; and

(iv) As at end FY2015, the respective capital sums for Medifund and Medifund Silver stood at $2.78 billion and $1.22 billion.

3 More details can be found in the Medical Endowment Scheme Annual Report 2015/2016 available here.

4 Between FY2012 and FY2015, Medifund assistance provided to patients had increased by 15% every year on average. Recent outpatient subsidy enhancements for the lower- and middle-income and Pioneer Generation (PG) patients, as well as changes in Medisave coverage to allow more flexible use to cover more chronic conditions and scans, have improved overall affordability of healthcare and contributed to the lower Medifund assistance in FY2015.

5 The Medifund scheme has also been enhanced over the years to provide better support to those who need additional assistance. For instance, Medifund Silver and Medifund Junior were introduced to better target assistance towards elderly and children from needy families respectively. Medifund has also been extended to cover more healthcare services, such as primary care at the polyclinics, dental services, antenatal and delivery services, over the years.

Source: Ministry of Health, Singapore