Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on payment for medications by Civil Service pensioners for prescriptions issued by community hospitals but not for prescriptions issued by general hospitals

03 February 2020

Written Reply to Parliamentary Question on payment for medications by Civil Service pensioners for prescriptions issued by community hospitals but not for prescriptions issued by general hospitals

Parliamentary Sitting: 3 February 2020

Dr Chia Shi-Lu: To ask the Prime Minister (a) why elderly pensioners utilising their Civil Service Cards to fulfill prescriptions issued by community hospitals have to pay for these medications whereas general hospitals' prescriptions can be filled for free; (b) whether patients are informed of this discrepancy when they are transferred from general hospitals to community hospitals; and (c) whether the Ministry will consider extending this medication benefit for pensioners discharged from community hospitals.

Written Reply by Mr Chan Chun Sing, Minister for Trade & Industry and Minister-in-charge of the Public Service.

Since 2017, we have extended the Civil Service inpatient medical benefits to cover hospitalisation expenses, including medication up to the point of discharge, incurred by pensioners at Community Hospitals. Our coverage rules for medication apply equally across Restructured Hospitals and Community Hospitals, including those run by Volunteer Welfare Organisations.

If a pensioner requires continuous medical management at a primary care provider, Civil Service medical benefits also provide for outpatient care expenses at polyclinics and GP clinics, on top of existing government subsidies.

The Civil Service will continue to review its medical benefits in consultation with the Ministry of Health (MOH), as the healthcare landscape and model of care evolves.