Treatment from self-inflicted injuries not covered under MediShield Life

Parliamentary Question, 6 March 2020

https://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/teen-suicides-highest-in-15-years-but-overall-rate-falls

Ms Anthea Ong asked the Minister for Health (a) why is “treatment of self-inflicted injuries or injuries resulting from attempted suicide” not covered under MediShield Life; and (b) whether the Ministry will consider removing this from the standard exclusions under MediShield Life.

The Senior Minister of State for Health (Mr Edwin Tong Chun Fai) (for the Minister for Health): Sir, the general rule — treatment of self-inflicted injuries or injuries resulting from attempted suicide is excluded from MediShield Life, so as to not encourage this kind of behaviour. Nonetheless, exceptions can be considered where such injuries might arise from mental illnesses.

Ms Anthea Ong (Nominated Member): I thank the Senior Minister of State. In a Parliamentary Question (PQ) that I had filed last month, it was shared that from 2016 to 2018, we had about 300 claims in this category that were excluded every year. Would the Senior Minister of State Edwin Tong please share if there will be a review at least to see if we can include such injuries?

Mr Edwin Tong Chun Fai: As I had mentioned, we exclude them as a general rule because you do not encourage this kind of behaviour. We do not want to encourage people to self-inflict injuries and that is why MediShield Life does not cover it. Nonetheless, to the extent that these injuries arise as a result of an existing mental condition that might pre-dispose the claimant or the person to inflicting the injuries on himself or herself, in those situations, we can consider exceptions to the general positions.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Anthea Ong is a Nominated Member of Parliament. (A Nominated Member of Parliament (NMP) is a Member of the Parliament of Singapore who is appointed by the President. They are not affiliated to any political party and do not represent any constituency. There are currently nine NMPs in Parliament.)

The multi-sector perspective that comes from her ground immersion of 12 years in different capacities helps her translate single-sector issues and ideas across boundaries without alienating any particular community/group. As an entrepreneur and with many years in business leadership, it is innate in her to discuss social issues with the intent of finding solutions, or at least of exploring possibilities. She champions mental health, diversity and inclusion — and climate change in Parliament.

She is also an impact entrepreneur/investor and a passionate mental health advocate, especially in workplace wellbeing. She started WorkWell Leaders Workgroup in May 2018 to bring together top leaders (CXOs, Heads of HR/CSR/D&I) of top employers in Singapore (both public and private) to share, discuss and co-create inclusive practices to promote workplace wellbeing. Anthea is also the founder of Hush TeaBar, Singapore’s 1st silent teabar and a social movement that aims to bring silence, self care and social inclusion into every workplace, every community — with a cup of tea. The Hush Experience is completely led by lovingly-trained Deaf facilitators, supported by a team of Persons with Mental Health Issues (PMHIs).

Follow Anthea Ong on her public page at www.facebook.com/antheaonglaytheng

A full-time human, and part-time everything else.

A full-time human, and part-time everything else.