Sabrina Chiu, a 47-year-old unvaccinated Singaporean, feels that the new policy is very unfair. She has not gotten vaccinated because she has a long list of allergies to medications. “It’s kind of like you are indirectly forcing the people to get vaccinated,” she said.
Chiu added that the new policy will not convince her to get vaccinated.
One doctor in Singapore who asked not to be named said the policy sends a wrong message to the country’s unvaccinated population. “The healthcare system needs to be there for everyone, not just for those whose choices we endorse,” he said.
Even political figures have expressed concerns about the new policy. The Singapore Democratic Party (SDP), a small opposition party with no representation in the country’s parliament, is worried that it could discourage unvaccinated people from seeking any kind of medical care.
“The basic public health principle is to provide free treatment for highly communicable diseases,” said Paul Tambyah, chairman of the SDP, doctor and expert on infectious diseases. “This encourages people to come forward to be diagnosed and treated rather than remain in the community, where they may end up spreading the disease to even more people.”
A spokesman for the health ministry said getting vaccinated is a “civic and moral duty each of us have to ourselves and people around us.”
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