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     FrontPage Edition: Sat 12 Nov 2005

Foreigners to get no subsidy at polyclinics from 2006


Review of Polyclinic Subsidy for Foreigners
Ministry of Health has decided to revise its healthcare subsidy provided at its polyclinics.
Currently, foreign patients make up about 5% of the polyclinic patient-load. The vast majority of these patients are foreign workers. They are subsidized like citizens.
As most workers come under the responsibility of their employers for medical benefits, this means that the Ministry has been subsidizing employers. This does not seem appropriate.
From 1 Jan 2006, the Ministry will no longer provide such subsidy to foreigners at the polyclinics.
Foreigners who are Permanent Residents (PRs) however will continue to be subsidized, but at a reduced rate compared to citizens.
This way, there is clear differentiation in health benefits as enjoyed by citizens, PRs and other foreigners.
At present, polyclinic basic consultation fees are about $8. With this change, PRs can expect to pay about $12 for basic consultation, while other foreigners can expect to pay about $16.

Source: Press Release 12 Nov 2005

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