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Medifund use was extended to cover HIV treatment from 1 February 2010 onwards. To support this extension, the Ministry of Health has injected an additional S$8.5 million into Medifund.
After an 18-month review, the Competition Commission of Singapore decided that the Singapore Medical Association?s fees guidelines are, after all, anti-competitive.
With effect from 1 March 2010, Singaporean citizens and permanent residents are, under certain conditions, able to use their compulsory medical savings, Medisave, to help pay for non-emergency hospitalisation in approved hospitals overseas. Previously, outside Singapore they could only use Medisave for emergency hospitalisation.
Despite stretching the production capacities of the two existing medical schools and actively recruiting foreign-trained doctors, the doctor shortage in Singapore continues unabated. An interesting and novel idea being explored by Singapore?s public sector hospitals is offering a ?pre-employment grant? to students studying medicine in overseas universities, helping them with their expenses overseas while obligating them to return to serve in Singapore hospitals after they graduate.
As part of its efforts to tackle the problems of an ageing population, the Singapore government is allocating S$100 million over the next five years towards meeting the physical, social and emotional needs of the elderly. In particular, it aims to avert their social isolation, which has been identified as an increasingly serious issue that demands closer attention.
Singapore?s Parliament has passed the Medical Registration (Amendment) Bill aimed at strengthening penalties against errant doctors. Included is a controversial proposal to allow senior legal professionals to sit on the Singapore Medical Council's disciplinary tribunals as either chairman or member.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) has roped in primary care physicians to help treat flu cases and mitigate against community spread. ?Pandemic Preparedness Clinics? (PPCs), recruited on a voluntary basis and rewarded with incentives, now form a vital part of the Singapore?s National Flu Pandemic Response Framework.
Among several changes being proposed to streamline existing disciplinary processes within the medical profession is a controversial provision for a senior lawyer, legal officer or retired judge to be appointed as chairperson of the medical disciplinary tribunal which hears and determines disciplinary proceedings brought against medical practitioners.
Singapore is going through the most serious economic downturn it has experienced since independence in 1965. However, unlike many governments under pressure to cut their health budgets in the face of shrinking resources, the Singapore government?s response has been to set aside more money for healthcare in 2009, including special schemes to help patients tide over the recession. And while there have been job losses across various industries, the public health care sector went the opposite way.
The Chronic Disease Management Programme has been extended to cover the outpatient treatment of two more chronic diseases, namely Schizophrenia and Major Depression.