Singapore will have four more public hospitals and up to 12 more polyclinics by 2030, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong announced in Parliament on Tuesday.
The Government will also be increasing its share of healthcare costs from 30 per cent to 40 per cent or more, and adjustments will be made to current financing and subsidy methods to keep healthcare accessible and affordable to Singaporeans.
While he said the government was seeking to give Singaporeans “greater assurance” in addressing health care costs, Gan warned against creating problems for “future generations” if this was not done properly.
“If we get it wrong, we leave a heavy burden of debt for our children and grandchildren,” he said.
These measures and more were met with thumps of approval from MPs during the Parliament session, especially when Gan stated that the $3 transaction fee for Medisave claims would be absorbed by the Ministry of Health from April 2013 onwards.
Singaporeans can now also use their Medifund for treatment at the National Dental Centre or for dental services at polyclinics, and mothers can draw from Medifund to pay for their antenatal care and delivery charges.
Still on the subject of healthcare, Minister of State for Health Amy Khor said in Parliament that Nursing homes would get clearer licensing standards by 2015.
Khor said that the new enhanced standards would be far more clinically specific in areas such as fall management, skin care routines and oral hygiene for patients.
More attention would also be focused on ensuring the emotional and social well-being of nursing home residents. These new standards will be put together by a committee comprising of healthcare professionals and nursing home operators.
Additional reporting by Rahimah Rashith
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