Assoc Prof Daniel Goh Pei Siong asked the Minister for Health other than women who are permanent residents or hold Long-Term Visit Pass-Plus passes, whether pregnant non-Singaporean women whose child will become a Singaporean citizen at birth should benefit from Government subsidies for maternity and delivery services at restructured hospitals.
Mr Gan Kim Yong: Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents receive government subsidies at public healthcare institutions, with citizens receiving a higher level of subsidies. This is in line with the larger Government policy of differentiating social benefits and subsidies by citizenship status.
Patients are extended healthcare subsidies based on their citizenship status, and not that of their children. This principle applies to all healthcare services, including maternity and delivery services. For newborns who are Singaporeans, they are eligible for healthcare subsidies and other benefits such as the Medisave Grant for Newborns and the Government’s contribution to the Child Development Account.
We understand that some Singapore Citizens with non-citizen spouses and some Singaporean children with non-citizen parents may require additional support. This feedback has also been raised by other Members previously. Since 2012, MOH has extended inpatient subsidies to non-citizen spouses who are on Long-Term Visit Pass-Plus.
We have to take into account the policy objective of differentiating social benefits and subsidies by citizenship, to give greater support to Singapore Citizens. We also need to be mindful that the cost of giving more government subsidies will ultimately be borne by all Singaporeans. Hence, any proposal to further extend more Government subsidies to foreigners, who are neither Permanent Residents nor Long-Term Visit Pass-Plus holders, would need to be carefully considered.