|By Mavis Toh|
source: Straits Times 25 July 2009
ABOUT 100,000 women in Singapore do not have MediShield insurance coverage and are at risk of being burdened with big medical bills.
They are mostly housewives with no Medisave savings.
Describing this as a significant number, NTUC deputy secretary-general Halimah Yacob said on Saturday that these women and their families would face a big burden in future.
Women live longer than men and face more years of illnesses towards the end. On average, women live up to 82 years and suffer 11 years of disability. Men on average live up to 77 years and suffer eight years of disability.
'But even as we live longer and need more healthcare, we have lesser means to pay for them,' she said at a forum organised by NTUC Women's Development Secretariat to raise health awareness among non-working women.
She noted that such women are not covered either due to 'pure ignorance' or lapses in continuing coverage with time.
NTUC intends to reach out to this group and has appointed 90 women 'MediShield ambassadors' to encourage the women to sign up.
Pamphlets, posters and a video promoting MediShield coverage through cartoons and simple narration were also launched yesterday at the NTUC Centre to help Singaporeans understand the scheme better.
Madam Halimah and guest-of-honour Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan also urged husbands to pay the MediShield premiums of their non-working wives.
They can top up their wives' Medisave accounts to pay for MediShield or sign them up under MediShield if they are not yet registered.