Singapore’s government has been covering the medical bills of COVID-19 patients throughout the pandemic. But it says unvaccinated people will soon be on their own.
Photo via The Straits Times
Those who are “unvaccinated by choice” will have to start paying for their own COVID-19 treatment starting December 8th, the Ministry of Health announced on Monday, citing the strain they are putting on the nation’s healthcare system.
According to NPR, unvaccinated persons make up a sizable majority of those who require intensive inpatient care, and disproportionately contribute to the strain on the country’s health care resources.
Until now, the government has been covering the cost of COVID-19 care for all Singaporeans, permanent residents and long-term pass holders, excluding those who tested positive after returning from overseas travel.
The government further explained in a statement: “This was to avoid financial considerations adding to public uncertainty and concern when COVID-19 was an emergent and unfamiliar disease.”
Photo via Connected to India
The policy change means that the government will start charging all unvaccinated COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals and designated “COVID-19 Treatment Facilities” on or after December 8th.
Those patients can still use their regular healthcare financing arrangements to pay their bills where applicable.
By: Aishah Akashah Ahadiat