The government of Singapore has announced that it will no longer cover the healthcare costs of Covid patients if they choose to remain unvaccinated.
In an apparent bid to encourage immunizations, the country’s health ministry said in a statement on Monday:
“Currently, unvaccinated persons make up a sizable majority of those who require intensive inpatient care, and disproportionately contribute to the strain on our healthcare resources” The statement claimed that the unjabbed made up “the bulk of severe and ICU cases” and imposed “a strain on our healthcare system……
“Hence, from 8 December 2021, we will begin charging Covid-19 patients who are unvaccinated by choice”.
Update on COVID-19 situation (8 Nov 2021):— Ministry of Health (@sporeMOH) November 8, 2021
We have detected 2,307 new community cases, 156 dormitory cases, and 7 imported cases. The weekly infection growth rate is 0.84.
For full details: https://t.co/lJYpxUKBpc pic.twitter.com/5rnri31bXN
RT reports: While the government said its 70%-full ICU capacity is still “manageable” and that the vast majority of infections have been “mild” or asymptomatic as of late, it noted the pandemic is still “stretching our healthcare manpower” and a resurgence in cases could “overwhelm” the hospital system.
Those who have been partially vaccinated will have until December 31 to allow them to complete their immunizations on the government’s dime, but beyond that date those individuals will be charged for any Covid-related treatment.
Other than citizens who tested positive soon after returning home from overseas, all Singaporeans were previously eligible to receive free coronavirus vaccines and therapeutics, which the government said was intended to “avoid financial considerations adding to public uncertainty and concern when Covid-19 was an emergent and unfamiliar disease.”
People who are unable to receive the inoculations, including children under the age of 12 and others with certain medical conditions, will still be offered free care. The ministry added that “patients who are unvaccinated by choice may still tap on regular healthcare financing arrangements to pay for their bills where applicable.”