Patients who need inpatient treatment for serious pregnancy and delivery-related complications may see the coverage under the national health insurance scheme MediShield Life with effect on 1 April.
Speaking during the Committee of Supply speech on Wednesday (6 March), Senior Minister of State for Health Edwin Tong said that this is expected to benefit up to 4,000 patients a year.
He noted that this will provide more assurance to expectant parents who may face large hospitalisation bills as a result of these complications.
Last year, the Ministry of Health (MOH) stated that it would carry out a review to alleviate concerns over healthcare expenses related to marriage and parenthood aspirations.
After consultations with senior clinicians, the coverage of MediShield Life, which focuses on large hospital bills and selected costly outpatient treatments, will be extended to cover 24 complications, which include eclampsia, cervical incompetency and postpartum haemorrhage, under the existing inpatient claim limits.
Another move is that MediShield Life coverage will also be extended to patients who continue their autologous bone marrow transplant treatments, including post-transplant monitoring, for outpatient treatments at approved hospitals.
Mr Tong stated that this change aimed at supporting patients in furthering their treatments, who will have a claim limit of up to S$6,000 per treatment.
“On bone marrow transplants, patients undergoing an autologous bone marrow transplant for multiple myeloma used to be admitted for the entire transplant treatment,” the minister said.
“Presently, however, part of that transplant treatment, including conditioning, stem cell infusion and post-transplant monitoring can now be done in an outpatient setting for suitable patients. This potentially shortens the inpatient stays by up to three weeks,” Mr Tong added.
He also noted that more than 20 patients a year will likely benefit from the enhancement. Treatment received in the inpatient setting will continue to be claimable under the existing inpatient claim limits.