S'poreans with lower back, neck pain can get up to 70% subsidies for acupuncture treatment

Belmont Lay | December 30, 2020, 03:08 PM

Patients with lower back and neck pain can receive subsidies of up to 70 per cent of treatment costs, the Ministry of Health (MOH) announced on Dec. 29, 2020.

This pilot programme will provide referred patients with means-tested subsidies at public sector specialist outpatient clinics.

How many will benefit?

About 2,000 patients per year who visit public specialist outpatient clinics for pain in the lower back and neck area are set to benefit under this pilot.

This accounts for 70 per cent of all patients.

However, the pilot will not cover acupuncture used to treat other pain indications.

It will also not cover other forms of traditional, complementary and alternative medicine currently offered at public healthcare institutions.

Seniors get more subsidies

Merdeka Generation and Pioneer Generation seniors will receive 25 per cent and 50 per cent off the remaining healthcare bill respectively, on top of the subsidy.

All patients will also be able to utilise the Flexi-MediSave scheme to pay for acupuncture services to relieve lower back and neck pain.

The Flexi-MediSave scheme was introduced by the Health Ministry in 2015.

Older Singaporeans can reduce out-of-pocket costs under this scheme when they visit polyclinics, general practitioner clinics on the Community Health Assist Scheme (Chas), and public specialist outpatient clinics.

Seniors who hit 60 years of age can withdraw up to S$200 per year from their own MediSave account or that of their spouse to pay for outpatient treatments, if they qualify under the Flexi-MediSave scheme.

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