Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) patients in Singapore who are not recognized as fully vaccinated — meaning those who are only partially vaccinated and those who completely refuse vaccination — are no longer eligible for health coverage and have to pay for their medical bills in full.
The new policy forcing unvaccinated Singaporeans to needlessly suffer was first announced on Nov. 8. Minister of Health Ong Ye Kung described this move as an “important signal” to those who are still choosing not to get vaccinated. (Related: Singapore’s COVID tracking turns it into a veritable surveillance state.)
“We have to send this important signal, to urge everyone to get vaccinated if you are eligible,” said Ong last month.
The government of Singapore passed a policy last year that made it pay for the full treatment costs of nearly every single COVID-19 patient in the city-state, be they Singaporeans, permanent residents or long-term visitors. This was done to ensure that financial considerations do not deter people from going to the hospital.
This financial support for coronavirus treatment-related bills was withdrawn on Dec. 8. According to a median estimate released by the health ministry, Singaporeans who receive medical assistance and stay in intensive care units might have to pay at least SG$25,000 ($18,301).
The new policy applies to all unvaccinated COVID-19 patients in Singapore admitted on or after Dec. 8 to hospitals or COVID-19 treatment facilities. The medical bills of people who are not eligible for vaccination will still be paid in full by the government.
Singaporeans who have gotten vaccinated but are not considered fully vaccinated have until Dec. 31 to get another dose of the vaccine. Starting Jan. 1, they will also be paying for their own COVID-19 treatment bills.
Those who were fully vaccinated using the Chinese-made Sinovac and Sinopharm vaccines will only be considered fully vaccinated until Dec. 31. They can keep their status as fully vaccinated individuals only if they get a booster vaccine. Otherwise, they will also be forced to pay for their own COVID-19 treatment if they get infected.