Saturday, August 17, 2013

Letter to The Straits Times:: What about insurance coverage for the mentally ill?

My letter to The Straits Times on the above matter was published on Saturday 17th August 2013.


NTUC Income’s move to provide insurance coverage to autistic children and young adults is long overdue (“Income launches first insurance scheme for autistic kids, youth”; Thursday).

I am sure parents and caregivers looking after these children will heave a sigh of relief.

MP Denise Phua, whose son has autism, has often spoken out for people with this condition.

But people suffering from mental illness have no one to champion their cause.

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has repeatedly assured Singaporeans that no one will be left behind, yet people with mental illness are not being given the support they so badly need.  Indeed, the mentally ill are being left behind – in more ways than one.

For decades, I have tried securing insurance coverage from NTUC Income for my wife, who has battled schizophrenia for 40 years, but this request has been turned down time and again. And mind you, the insurance coverage I sought was to cover her physical illnesses.

So let’s put a halt to discrimination against the mentally ill – once and for all.

Raymond Anthony Fernando

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