Today 04:46 AM Sep 16, 2011
The Primary Care Partnership Scheme (PCPS) will be enhanced from next year, but I wonder if it will be of little help to the needy, who cannot afford private healthcare even with the subsidy.
According to the Health Ministry’s website, PCPS general practitioners and dentists will charge “reasonable fees”, and after subtracting the subsidy, “there would typically be a remaining amount” that PCPS patients need to pay. The subsidy ranges from S$18.50 per visit for common treatments to S$240 or S$360 a year for chronic illness (S$320 or S$480 after the revisions).
With the Government setting aside S$73 million in subsidies for medication and for subsidised care at GP and dental clinics, does it mean the average subsidy per patient per year will be only S$103, with 710,000 people eligible for PCPS?
Also, as the previous annual subsidy amount of S$2.5 million was spent on 31,000 people who signed up (out of 87,000 who qualified), does it mean the average subsidy per person was only about S$81?
What we really need are more polyclinics which charge low fees instead of more people being eligible for PCPS but paying more at the private clinics.
Letter from Leong Sze Hian