Singapore Will Not Pay for Unvaccinated Patients' Medical Costs

Singapore Will No Longer Cover Medical Costs for COVID-19 Patients Who Are “Unvaccinated by Choice”

This sends a strong message to people who are still delaying getting their COVID-19 vaccine.

In Singapore, the remaining few who are refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine are about to receive a rude awakening. On Monday, 8 Nov 2021, the Ministry of Health announced that it will no longer cover the medical bills of people who are unwilling to be vaccinated, stating that they are straining the nation’s health care system and overwhelming health workers.

“We will begin charging Covid-19 patients who are unvaccinated by choice” starting 8 Dec 2021, the ministry stated in an official statement.

Unvaccinated individuals in Singapore make up the majority of severe COVID-19 cases who require intensive inpatient care, according to the ministry’s statement. There are currently 140 cases in the ICU, taking up approximately 70% of the current ICU bed capacity in Singapore.

Singapore to stop offering free COVID-19 medical treatment for those who are unwilling to get vaccinated

Singapore to Stop Covering the Medical Costs of COVID-19 Patients Unvaccinated by Choice

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Singapore will no longer cushion the financial blow for vaccine-hesitant individuals, but there are exceptions. The “COVID-19 medical bills for those who are ineligible for vaccination will still be fully paid for by the government,” including children under the age of 12 and people who are ineligible to receive the vaccine because of their medical conditions.

As for those who are partially vaccinated against COVID-19, the Singapore government will continue to offer free healthcare services until 31 Dec 2021. This will give them enough time to be fully vaccinated. 

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Up to this point, the government has covered the preventable costs of COVID-19 treatment for Singaporeans, permanent residents, and long-term pass holders during the pandemic. 

The change in policy means that those who are infected with COVID-19 and unwilling to get vaccinated must shoulder the full cost of their hospital bills. However, these patients can access government subsidies or use private insurance to pay their medical bills where applicable.

Also read: Abu Dhabi, Singapore, and Seoul Handled the Pandemic Best, a New Report Says

As of publication, Singapore has one of the highest vaccination rates around the globe with 85% of its population fully vaccinated and 18% having already received boosters. 

Meanwhile, those who are fully vaccinated will soon have more exciting perks to look forward to in Singapore, including school activities, sports, and Vaccinated Travel Lanes (VTLs) with other safe countries. 

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