My letter on the above matter was published in The New Paper on Monday 1 November 2010, page 16
Five years ago, I raised the issue of getting MediShield coverage for the mentally ill through The Straits Times forum page.
I have been paying for MediShield for both myself and my wife since the implementation of the scheme, but we have not benefited from this insurance policy.
But I am now encouraged that Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan has mentioned the possibility of extending MediShield to cover mental illness. It shows that the Government is listening to feedback.
MediShield coverage for mental illness will greatly help in relieving the financial burden of both psychiatric patients and their families. Such a positive move will encourage people going through the stresses of life to readily come forward for treatment.
I hope that the Health Minister can take it one step further by persuading insurers to allow the mentally ill to take up other insurance policies, including endowment and life insurance policies.
Let me also record my deepest appreciation to Mr Heng Chee How, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office for the wonderful support that he has given my wife and me for several years.
Mr Heng has shown remarkable compassion for the mentally ill and acts quickly on issues that I have raised to him.
Likewise, my MP, Mr Seng Han Thong, has been supportive to our struggles and renders assistance whenever he is able to.
Dr Lily Neo, MP for Jalan Besar GRC, has also demonstrated compassion and care for lonely elderly and the mentally ill through the many social support programmes that she has initiated.
Singapore can become a gracious society and be the best home to live in so long as we have MPs who emphatise with the suffering of our marginalised citizens.
RAYMOND ANTHONY FERNANDO