SINGAPORE — As of 31 December 2022, 413 applications have received payouts under the Vaccine Injury Financial Assistance Programme for COVID-19 Vaccination (VIFAP) with a total of S$1,895,000 paid out or offered to applicants.
This is said by the Ministry of Health (MOH) in a statement in response to Channel News Asia’s query regarding a former Singapore General Hospital (SGH) nurse who suffered a severe adverse reaction following her second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Of these, the ministry said three applicants have been offered a S$225,000 payout under Tier 1, which is extended to individuals who have died or become permanently disabled.
“All VIFAP applications will be reviewed by an independent clinical panel,” added MOH.
According to Minister for Health, Ong Ye Kung, eligibility for VIFAP is determined by an independent clinical panel, who will consider whether the side effect is likely to be caused by vaccination or other factors, such as underlying health conditions; and the severity of the side effect caused by the vaccination.
A serious side effect is typically considered one that minimally required hospitalisation. Cases that were not hospitalised but require long-term follow-up, including that of skin conditions, are also reviewed for assistance on a case-by-case basis.
MOH noted that those who require admission to high dependency or intensive care, with subsequent recovery, will receive S$10,000 under Tier 2, while those who require inpatient hospitalisation, with subsequent recovery will get S$2,000 under Tier 3.
However, MOH did not indicate how many applications have been received so far.
TOC understands from several doctors that they are hesitant in attributing any symptoms suffered by patients due to vaccination, as the perception is that such a diagnosis would attract unwanted attention from MOH.
As for the nurse, a MOH spokesman said it had not received an application from the woman.
“We have reached out to her to check if she would like to submit an application,”
Nurse sacked from work after suffering severe adverse reaction from COVID-19 vaccination
CNA reported on 13 January that a former nurse had won an appeal against a court order to pay child maintenance after losing her job in December.
In March 2021, she suffered a severe adverse reaction to her second dose of the COVID-19 vaccination which resulted in her hospitalisation for 151 days from March to October of 2021, where she was diagnosed with Involuntary Movement Disorder.
Ever since, she has been unable to return to her occupation as a nurse in SGH.
Her medical condition did not ease, and yet, her financial problems increased because of a reduction of her salary when she was on prolonged illness leave.
She received a full pay of S$8,244 for 2021, but this was subsequently reduced to half-pay at S$4,122 for the first half of 2022, and thereafter no-pay for the rest of 2022.
A letter dated 28 December 2022 from SGH informed the former nurse that her employment had been terminated with immediate effect after an internal medical review reported that she was unfit to work.
At present, the only income she is receiving is S$2,100 a month from the rental of her flat.
On 16 January. CNA also reported SGH saying that the former nurse is welcome to reapply to join the hospital “when she is better” after it sent a query about her
Did SGH advise its former nurse to apply for VIFAP?
Did the hospital’s patients’ financial counselling section advise or help her to apply for the VIFAP, before she was terminated due to her inability to work?
Is it not seemingly, arguably rather strange and ironic that a public healthcare institution allowed its staff to be uncompensated, without even applying for the VIFAP, when it is quite clear that she suffered life-damaging injuries due to mandatory vaccination for healthcare workers, and eventually halved her pay, and ultimately sacked her, due to her inability to work?
In this connection, If a healthcare worker of such a big public hospital did not apply for the VIFAP, even though she quite clearly, very well qualifies for it, what about ordinary citizens who may have to rely on healthcare institutions and their professional staff, for advice on their decisions and the application procedures and processes, of what to do, in the event of an adverse vaccination event or immediate or eventual vaccine injury?