MOH appreciates the National Trades Union Congress’ (NTUC) outreach efforts and feedback on a wide range of healthcare-related issues, including on MediShield Life. MOH further notes that the MediShield Life Review Committee has indicated that it will consider the suggestions, while bearing in mind the need to balance with premium affordability. Every benefit enhancement under MediShield will have an impact on premiums, a point which the NTUC statement has acknowledged. MOH is confident that the Review Committee will study carefully the many suggestions it has received, and arrive at a total package which best addresses Singaporeans’ need for assurance while keeping premiums affordable.

2 MOH commends the special effort made by NTUC to understand the needs of the self-employed, and NTUC’s call to encourage the self-employed to build up sufficient Medisave savings for healthcare needs and MediShield Life premiums.

3 The NTUC has also made specific suggestions to expand the Standard Drug List (SDL) and provide more assistance for chronic outpatient conditions, including through raising the Medisave withdrawal limits for such conditions.

4 Alongside the shift to MediShield Life, MOH has, in the past few years, significantly increased subsidies and government expenditure on healthcare. Further enhancements were announced at the recent Budget and Committee of Supply debates. We will continue with our efforts to ensure that healthcare remains affordable for all Singaporeans.

14 APRIL 2014