The government in Singapore has recently announced that it will stop paying the medical bills of citizens that are “unvaccinated by choice.”
Currently, the Singaporean government covers all medical treatment costs related to COVID-19.
This applies to all the citizens of the country, including permanent residents and long-term visa holders but excludes anyone who may have tested positive for the virus shortly after returning from another country.
However, this luxury is set to come to an end for those who choose to remain unvaccinated.
The Singaporean Ministry of Health has announced that from December 8th, those who have chosen not to get the vaccine will start being charged for all their medical treatments.
“From 8 December 2021, we will begin charging COVID-19 patients who are unvaccinated by choice,” the website states. “This will apply to all unvaccinated COVID-19 patients admitted on or after 8 December 2021 to hospitals and CTFs. COVID-19 medical bills for those who are ineligible for vaccination will still be fully paid for by the government, i.e. children under twelve years old or medically ineligible persons.”
“Currently, unvaccinated persons make up a sizeable majority of those who require intensive inpatient care, and disproportionately contribute to the strain on our healthcare resources,” it also added.
Singapore has among the highest coverage rates in the world, alongside Scotland and Bahrain, with over eighty-five percent of the eligible population fully vaccinated.
“For the majority who are vaccinated, this special approach for COVID-19 bills will continue until the COVID-19 situation is more stable,” they clarified.
So those who are vaccinated and still require medical aid due to the virus, their bills will continue to be covered by the government until stated otherwise. This cover also applies to those who are currently ineligible for the vaccine.
The decison comes after the country saw a surge in COVID cases.
The government is hoping this new ruling will get more people on board to get vaccinated after a recent surge in cases that saw over 2,400 infections in the past few days ever since restrictions were relaxed. Now they have been extended until the next official review.