Medisave Balances increase 128% to $84b?

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685,000 S’poreans received subsidised Chas care in 2016

I refer to the article “Some 685,000 Singaporeans received subsidised Chas care in 2016: Health Ministry” (Straits Times, May 14).

It states that “Some 685,000 Singaporeans received subsidised care from their doctors in private clinics islandwide last year (2016).

Chas cost the govt $169m

Such care, under the Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas), cost the government $169 million in subsidies in 2016, according to latest data from the Ministry of Health.”

$70.5b Total Medisave Balance

According to – the Total Medisave Balance was $70.5 billion in 2014.

91% increase in the Total Medisave Balance?

It has increased in a straight line by 91 per cent from $36.9 billion in 2006 to $70.5 billion in 2014.

$84b estimated Total Medisave Balance now? 

I estimate that the current Total Medisave Balance is about $84 billion.

128% increase in the Total Medisave Balance?

If this estimate is correct – does it mean that the Total Medisave Balance may have increased by about 128 per cent ($84 divided by $36.9 billion) from 2006 to now?

$840m Medisave % kept by govt?

If the annualised return derived from our CPF funds is say just five per cent per annum – the annual difference in interest of one per cent (5 – 4% Medisave interest rate) may be about $840 million (1% of $84 billion).

Chas spending is 20% of Medisave % kept by govt?

So, arguably, to put the $169 million Chas spending in perspective – it may only be about 20 per cent ($169 divided by $840 million) of the estimated excess return kept by the Government.

Total public healthcare expenditure – $9.8b?

Our total public healthcare spending (operational and developmental expenditure) was about $9.8 billion.

Medisave top-ups & withdrawals – $3.4b?

Total Medisave top-up schemes ($402.6 million), Medisave grant for newborns ($106.3 million), withdrawals for direct medical expenses ($899.9 million), MediShield ($892.8 million), private scheme ($581 million), ElderShield ($364.3 million), dependents’ protection insurance scheme’s premiums ($190.8 million) – adds up to a total of about $3.4 billion in 2015.

Public healthcare spending + Medisave top-ups + withdrawals = $13.2b?

Does this mean that total public healthcare spending, Medisave top-ups and total withdrawals from Medisave, was about $13.2 billion ($9.8 + $3.4 billion)?

Medisave contributions + annual % on Medisave accounts’ balances = $13.3b?

I estimate that the annual Medisave contributions plus the annual interest on Medisave accounts’ balances ($3.36 billion estimate) to be about at least $13.3 billion.

Cashflow perspective – Govt not be spending a single cent on healthcare?

So, from a cashflow perspective – does it mean that the Government may still not be spending a single cent on healthcare. if annual inflows exceed outflows ($13.3 billion – $13.2 billion)?

CPF contributions exceed withdrawals by $11.5b?

By the way, CPF contributions by members for the year was $30.2 billion, against withdrawals of $18.7 billion.

Malaysia’s “Chas”?

By the way, you may like to read “M’sian’s post about father’s hospital bill touches many” (The Independent SG, May 14) – “For RM1, he said, patients typically get consultation (worth RM200), X-ray (RM100), ultrasound for some cases (RM150), CT scan for some cases (RM500), blood tests (RM150) and drugs (RM150).

The total value is RM1,250, a “conservative estimate”, he said, adding, “You pay RM1. We absorb RM1,249.”

“When you come to the public hospital, often the real cost is not shown. We just hope you don’t value us as only RM1. Because we know our worth.””

Leong Sze Hian



About the Author

Leong Sze Hian has served as the president of 4 professional bodies, honorary consul of 2 countries, an alumnus of Harvard University, authored 4 books, quoted over 1500 times in the media , has been a radio talkshow host, a newspaper daily columnist, Wharton Fellow, SEACeM Fellow, columnist for theonlinecitizen and Malaysiakini, executive producer of Ilo Ilo (40 international awards), Hotel Mumbai (associate producer), invited to speak more than 200 times in about 40 countries, CIFA advisory board member, founding advisor to the Financial Planning Associations of 2 countries. He has 3 Masters, 2 Bachelors degrees and 13 professional  qualifications.