Singapore: Govt mulls options to fund healthcare costs of children with rare diseases
Source: Asia Insurance Review | Feb 2018
The Ministry of Health could set up a fund to better support children with rare diseases, to help their families bear the high cost of medical treatment of rare conditions.
Senior Minister of State Chee Hong Tat told Parliament that the government is studying options including insurance, discretionary funds such as Medifund and the Medication Assistance Fund, as well as a separate fund made up of contributions by the government, companies, charities and the community.
The separate fund could be tapped by public healthcare institutions on a discretionary basis to help children with rare diseases whose treatment costs remain unaffordable in spite of subsidies, insurance and financial assistance, said Mr Chee.
A proposal will be presented later this year after the various options have been studied, he said.
Patient advocacy group Rainbow Across Borders estimates there could be 2,000 to 3,000 patients with rare diseases in Singapore. Several rely on expensive medication to lead normal lives or to stay alive. A