1. From next month, one in two subsidized patients in hospices will pay less when MOH increases the subsidy tiers there from four to nine. This follows a similar revised subsidy framework introduced in the community hospitals in July 2009 (see Annex 1). At the community hospitals, 500 patients have so far benefited, with total savings of $300,000 in their bills, after two months of implementation.
2. With the satisfactory experience at the community hospitals, MOH has decided to extend similar benefits to inpatient hospices. MOH currently subsidises needy patients in four inpatient hospices, namely Assisi Hospice, Bright Vision Hospital, Dover Park Hospice and St Joseph’s Home. Last year, 1,600 patients in these hospices received a total of $3million in subsidies.
3. We estimate that half of the subsidised patients there will get more subsidies as a result of the change. We have also carefully designed the scheme so that no patient will be adversely impacted. As in community hospitals, permanent residents will receive 10%-point less subsidies.
4. Families with their loved one in hospice care can see savings of hundreds of dollars per admission. Coupled with the existing Medisave withdrawal limit of $160 per day for hospice stays, many will not have to incur out-of-pocket expenses (see Annex 2 for examples). The enhanced subsidy framework will cost the Government an additional $0.5 million per year.