How Singapore deals with unvaccinated Covid patients who end up in the hospital
No government-paid hospitalization for you!
SINGAPORE - From Wednesday (Dec 8), those who are unvaccinated "by choice" against Covid-19 and become infected will have to pay for their own treatment. We answer some questions you may have on this topic.
Q: Does the rule apply to those who are already hospitalised before Dec 8?
A: This will apply to all unvaccinated Covid-19 patients admitted on or after Dec 8, 2021, to hospitals and Covid-19 treatment facilities. The Covid-19 medical bills for those who are ineligible for vaccination, such as children under 12 years old or those who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, will still be fully paid for by the Government.
Q: What is the bill size like?
A: The bill size depends on the severity of your condition and where the care is rendered. The Ministry of Health (MOH) has said that Covid-19 patients who are unvaccinated by choice and end up in the intensive care unit (ICU) could be looking at a bill of around $25,000 before subsidies. The $25,000 is the median acute hospital bill size for those who require both ICU care and Covid-19 therapeutics, which can be pricey.
Q: Why is the Government making me pay for my Covid-19 medical bill?
A: When MOH made the announcement, it said that unvaccinated persons make up a sizeable majority of those who require intensive inpatient care, and they disproportionately contribute to the strain on the nation's healthcare resources.
Q: It's my choice to not get vaccinated. Why should I be penalised for this?
A: In the midst of a pandemic that has killed so many people, choosing to not be vaccinated against Covid-19 when there are safe and effective vaccines available has major implications for the health of others, especially vulnerable people who may not be able to get the vaccine themselves, according to an Oct 18 article published on the website of Gavi, the vaccine alliance that is co-leading the Covax initiative pushing for equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines.
"Thus, there is an argument from a human rights perspective for the freedom from harm caused by others, an equivalent argument for why it is illegal to drink and drive," it said.
The concept of doing something for the collective good breaks down if people start to make decisions based only on their individual beliefs, it said.
Globally, more than five million people infected with Covid-19 have died, including 771 in Singapore.