There will be a change in medical subsidies in Singapore. With effect from next year, foreigners will no longer be subsidised medically, while permanent residences will have theirs reduced by 5% from the beginning of next year, 1st January 2008, followed by a second cut by another 5% in July 2008.

This is a move by the government to channel more funds into medical care for Singaporeans, who are fast approaching into an ageing population – where the percentage of the elderly is much higher than that of the younger generation. The danger in this is that we will end up with a top heavy population, where the younger ones will have to work harder to support the older ones. This may potentially results in high costs for medical care for the elderly.

While no previous literature was found on why foreigners were given medical subsidies in the first place, it is believed that it was provided in order to attract and retain foreign talents in Singapore, where it’s hoped that they will eventually take up permanent residency and subsequently, citizenship in Singapore.

However, there’s still the issue of means testing which Singaporeans have to go through before subsidies can be given to them. The extent of this being carried out now is not exactly known yet. At least not from here.

FROM Jan 1 next year, foreigners will no longer get subsidies for treatment at public hospitals.

Subsidies will also be cut by 5 percentage points for permanent residents.

These subsidies for PRs will be further cut by an additional five percentage points in July 2008.

A day’s stay in a B2- or C-class ward, for example, will now cost them $150 to $200, instead of $25 to $50.

The move is to ensure that the limited subsidy money from the Government goes to citizens, said the Health Ministry.

The cuts will save the Government an estimated $36 million a year, which will be ploughed back into health-care subsidies for a greying population.

Article obtained from on 6th December 2007

Reader's Comments

  1. Sg Daily: 7 Dec 2007 « The Singapore Daily | December 7th, 2007 at 11:57 am

    […] Singaporeans are fed, up with progress! – Simply Jean: Change in medical subsidies in Singapore […]

  2. paul | December 7th, 2007 at 12:23 pm

    So I see, making maids and foreign construction workers pay more for their healthcare is the solution for our greying population…..

  3. zeezzen | December 7th, 2007 at 12:46 pm

    I think its a GOOD idea NOT to subsidized foreign workers. Why do tax payers have to subsidize foreign workers? Foreign workers not happy, please leave Singapore. I will be MOST GLAD to see lesser foreign workers or foreign workers here! More should be used to subsidized Singaporeans and the elderly. Pretty wise implementation I think.

    But, when maids fall sick, their employer will jump! So to all maid employers, you better take good care of your maid and make sure they don’t fall sick and be hospitalized.

  4. spyer | December 7th, 2007 at 4:55 pm

    It is so funny how they spin things. When it is about medical subsidies, they divide everybody clearly: foreigners, PRs and citizens.

    Are they trying to make PRs to become citizens to enjoy further 10% discount? It is so GSS.

    When they talk about employment figures, there is this funny classification called “Singapore residents“.


  5. mr wang | December 8th, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    “While no previous literature was found on why foreigners were given medical subsidies in the first place, it is believed that it was provided in order to attract and retain foreign talents in Singapore, where it’s hoped that they will eventually take up permanent residency and subsequently, citizenship in Singapore”

    If you think about it, you’ll see that providing medical subsidies to foreigners merely serves to attract them to come to Singapore, while discouraging them from taking up PR status or citizenship.

    After all, if a foreigner in Singapore already enjoys the same medical subsidies as a citizen, then that is one less reason to take up Singapore citizenship (and forsake his other citizenship).

  6. Gangmen | April 1st, 2008 at 5:44 pm

    Think many citizen donno that PR is paying tax the same rate as citizen and yet they dun deserve the same medical benefits…

  7. Ramunchai | April 2nd, 2008 at 3:49 am

    HA! Aging population. Weren’t they the ones who want to limit each couple 2 children in the seventies? Now they are facing with an aging population. God only knows what other kinds of consequences will be coming home to roost because of our Stalwart government’s policies…

  8. conscience | May 14th, 2008 at 11:24 am

    dear singaporeans, before you criticise the foreign workers, can you build your own house, clear the table after your food in food court and sweep the streets in your neighbourhood? I am neither agree or against foreign workers, the point is facing the reality. 20-30 yrs ago, when there are many expat in S’pore, why no one complain that they took our jobs and get paid on expat terms (free car, housing, children’s education, etc), because they are “angmo”? The import of foreign talent/workers is inevitable in many developed countries and even developing countries. Those who have been to U.S., would come across many latin americans working as waiters, taxi drivers, etc.; in China, many Singaporeans are working there, I met Filipino waitress in restaurants/pubs where foreigners patronise, so why a developing country like China import foreign talent/worker when there is abundance of labour in China? You complain that China workers took Singaporeans’ jobs, but aren’t the Singaporeans in China took the jobs of the people in China? So please stop despising or discriminating the foreigners.

  9. Bitter Singaporean | July 19th, 2009 at 1:23 pm

    Actually, I am done caring. I don’t watch local news, I don’t know or want to know who my ministers are, when taxi drivers complain of our common plight I just sigh.

    I know the local opposition won’t amount to anything (darn…I have been waiting to vote against PAP but PAP remains uncontested in my area!!!) I can’t protest. I don’t even dare to write my real name when I complain online….

    I just give up. Just hope I die before my savings run out… I am exploring Malaysia and Vietnam next year…Hopefully, I can build my nest there…

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