COVID-19: No more free treatment for short-term visit pass holders seeking treatment in Singapore

Visitors wearing masks take photos at the Merlion Park on 28 February, 2020, in Singapore. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
Visitors wearing masks take photos at the Merlion Park on 28 February, 2020, in Singapore. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — Visitors holding short-term visit passes who seek treatment for COVID-19 in Singapore will now have to pay for their treatment, said the Ministry of Health (MOH) on Monday (9 March). This applies to those who have been seeking treatment in Singapore from Saturday.

COVID-19 testing fees for all such visitors, however, will continue to be waived as part of public health measures to identify and initiate contact tracing for confirmed cases who may have been infectious while in Singapore, the ministry added.

The MOH had previously said that the government would pay for all hospital bills incurred by COVID-19 patients in public hospitals here. This coverage, however, does not extend to outpatient treatment at general practitioner clinics or polyclinics, as well as treatment sought at private medical facilities.

The MOH said that the move is to prioritise resources at Singapore’s public hospitals in view of the rising number of cases globally, and the expected rise in the number of confirmed cases here.

“The government will continue to pay for the COVID-19 testing fees and hospital bill in full for Singapore residents and long term pass holders who are admitted to public hospitals for COVID-19,” the ministry said.

Long-term pass holders include those on work passes, student’s pass, dependant’s pass and long-term visit pass.

To date, Singapore has confirmed 160 cases of the virus, of which 93 have fully recovered and have been discharged. Ten are in critical condition in the intensive care unit.

(INFOGRAPHIC: Yahoo News Singapore)
(INFOGRAPHIC: Yahoo News Singapore)

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