Singapore to hire 4,500 medical professionals over 2 years

Singapore's Health Minister announced that his ministry will be hiring some 4,500 medical and healthcare professionals over the next two years. Announcing the manpower push in Parliament, Minister Khaw Boon Wan said this will increase the capacity of public hospitals and institutions, allow the sector “to do things we were not able to do before” and “transform the delivery” of healthcare in Singapore.

Some mental illnesses added to Medisave chronic diseases list

Minister of Health Khaw Boon Wan has allowed depression and schizophrenia to be added to the list of chronic illnesses managed under the Chronic Diseases Management Programme (CDMP). The list currently includes six diseases – diabetes mellitus, asthma, hypertension (high blood pressure), hyperlipidemia (lipid disorders including high cholesterol problems), stroke, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). CDMP allows patients to get outpatient treatment from their general practitioners (GPs) (usually a family physician) and have the fees paid from their Medisave accounts.

Medisave surgery withdrawal limits raised

Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan announced in Parliament last week that the Medisave withdrawal limits for medical operations at private hospitals will be increased starting June 2009. Current limits of $150~$5,000 will go up substantially to a range of $250~$7,550. The move is expected to affect only patients of B1 and higher class wards as the current limits already exceed patients' shares of the bills in more highly-subsidized B2 and C wards.