Business Times – 28 Apr 2008
Jurong hospital will be ready by 2015
Medishield claim limits raised for implants, ward stay
By CHEN HUIFEN
THE new public hospital in Jurong will be ready by 2015 and follow the Changi General Hospital model of co-locating with a community hospital.
The Ministry of Health (MOH) said that the co-location of an acute inpatient healthcare institution with a step-down care facility will expedite sharing of common resources and expertise, as well as patient transfers.
The model has been tested and is working well for Changi General Hospital and St Andrew’s Community Hospital in the east. Both are located next to each other in the Simei area.
The proposed Jurong General Hospital will have a capacity of 550 beds, while the adjacent community hospital will have 200 beds. A hospital planning committee led by current Tan Tock Seng Hospital CEO Lim Suet Wun has been set up.
A site in Jurong East has been allocated for the hospital. It will be within walking distance from the Jurong East MRT Interchange and Jurong East Bus Interchange. The development will form part of the larger Jurong Lake District Plan, recently unveiled by the Urban Redevelopment Authority.
Apart from a new hospital, Singaporeans can also look forward to enhanced benefits from their Medishield plans. The MOH yesterday also released details on new Medishield claim limits, which are between 11 and 180 per cent higher than the ceilings they are entitled to today.
Significantly, the claim limit for implants and approved medical consumables has gone up to $7,000, from $2,500. Patients hospitalised in normal ward can also claim up to $450 per day, instead of $250, while ICU-warded patients will be entitled to have Medishield pay for up to $900 for each day of their stay.
The revision will take effect from December. They are designed to improve the insurance coverage of large Class B2/C bills to 80 per cent, from 60 per cent currently.
While premiums will go up correspondingly, the adjustments are less than $10 a month for the majority of Medishield policyholders. For those above 80, the enhanced benefits will cost them an increase of $35-40 in monthly premiums.
This group of policyholders will also see their deductible double. To buffer the effect, the MOH recently announced that it will raise their annual Medisave withdrawal limit to $1,150 to help pay for the higher Medishield premiums. The government will also top up Medisave accounts of the elderly in September, as announced by Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam during his Budget Speech this year.