International News

Singapore stops paying for Covid treatment for people who are unvaccinated by choice

Singapore has said it will stop paying the Covid medical bills for its citizens who are “unvaccinated by choice”.

The government said most of those needing intensive care in hospital at the moment had not been jabbed against Covid.

As of Monday, 86 per cent of Singapore’s population were fully vaccinated, while 85 per cent had received one dose, according to official figures.

The government said it has been funding Covid healthcare costs for Singapore nationals, permanent residents and long-term pass holders “to avoid financial considerations adding to public uncertainty and concern when Covid-19 was an emergent and unfamiliar disease”.

The policy will continue for those who are vaccinated – or ineligible for vaccination – until the Covid situation “is more stable”, the ministry of health said on Monday.

“Currently, unvaccinated persons make up a sizeable majority of those who require intensive inpatient care, and disproportionately contribute to the strain on our healthcare resources,” its statement said.

Those unvaccinated by choice will start having to pay for their own Covid healthcare costs from 8 December.

The government has not been paying the medical bills of people who test positive for Covid following overseas travel.

Singapore – which has been reporting around 3,000 cases every day in recent weeks – has been pushing to get as many vaccinated as possible and live with the virus.

The government has also announced a further easing of rules for dining out, allowing up to five vaccinated individuals from the same household to eat together at restaurants.

The vaccinated will also be able to travel between Singapore and Malaysia without having to quarantine from later this month.

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