12 May 2011 (MOH Press Release)
With effect from 1 July 2011, patients will be able to use their Medisave for mammograms to screen for breast cancer and colonoscopies for colorectal cancers. This will help make the screening tests more affordable and accessible to Singaporeans.
Screening for Breast Cancer
The Committee, headed by Professor Lee Hin Ping, highly recommends that women between the ages of 50 to 69 go for regular mammograms every two years to screen against breast cancer. Under the Medisave300 Scheme, patients can withdraw up to $300 from their Medisave account per year to defray cost of their mammograms. Close to 450 000 women will benefit from this extension in Medisave usage. Mammograms costs about $100. Subsidies are also available for Singapore citizens and PRs at participating BreastScreen Singapore providers.
Screening for Colorectal Cancer
Colorectal cancer is one of the top cancer killers in Singapore. The Committee recommends that persons aged 50 and older screen regularly for colorectal cancer, through either (a) annual stool analysis using the Faecal Immunohistochemistry Test (FIT), or (b) a screening colonoscopy every ten years. As colonoscopy is a surgical operation, it should only be carried out by qualified specialists. For those who are fit and are recommended by their doctors to undergo such a procedure, Medisave can be used to reduce out-of-pocket costs. The withdrawal limit will be pegged at the prevailing withdrawal limit for day surgery procedures, at $950 for colonoscopy, and $300 per day for associated daily hospital charges. There are about 1 million Singaporeans aged 50 and above who will benefit from this change.