Subsidised Zika testing for all Singaporeans with symptoms
6. Zika is generally a mild disease, and patients typically recover within 4 to 7 days. However, Zika virus infection can have more serious implications for a pregnant woman, as the virus can sometimes cause microcephaly in a small number of unborn foetuses. Should a pregnant woman be tested positive for Zika, her doctor will follow up closely with her to monitor her health and the development of her baby.
Zika testing criteria for Singaporeans who are not pregnant
7. For those who are not pregnant, confirming a Zika infection generally does not have an impact on the clinical management, which is currently focused on relieving symptoms. It is however useful in directing vector control efforts. Thus far, our considerations for testing for Zika are based on the assumption that most cases are still clustered in the affected areas. Thus, those with symptoms and who live, work or study in the affected areas can get the test free, while others have to pay for the full cost of the test.
8. However, as more cases are found in other parts of Singapore, testing will no longer be focused on the clusters only, and we will provide a subsidy for the test by the public sector laboratories as follows:
9. For subsidised patients at the public healthcare institutions, they will pay a subsidised rate of $60 if they have Zika symptoms regardless of where they live, work or study. Patients who need the test but cannot afford it can approach the medical social worker for assistance, such as from Medifund.
10. For private patients in the public healthcare institutions, and patients at private clinics and private hospitals, they will pay the full cost of $150 for the Zika test.
11. Doctors will continue to make the clinical judgment on individuals whether testing of Zika is necessary.
Zika testing criteria for Singaporean Pregnant Women
12. Pregnant women will remain a special group to whom we will make Zika tests more affordable and accessible. Doctors will continue to make the clinical judgment whether testing of Zika is necessary, and for those who have Zika symptoms or whose male partner is Zika-positive, the public sector laboratories will continue to extend free Zika tests to patients at the public healthcare institutions, as well as those at private hospitals and clinics.
13. The Clinical Advisory Group on Zika and Pregnancy has advised that testing is not routinely recommended for pregnant women who do not have symptoms of Zika and whose male partners are not Zika-positive. However, should they still wish to be tested for Zika and have been assessed by their doctor to require testing, they can access the subsidised tests at $60 if they are subsidised patients at our public healthcare institutions.
14. The summary of the public sector laboratory charges for Zika tests can be found in Annex A. The subsidies for Zika tests for the various eligible groups will be borne by MOH. Patients will have to pay the other usual charges such as doctor’s consultation fee, on top of the Zika test.
^ This refers only to subsidised patients at the public healthcare institutions
* These are patients in the private sector and private patients in the public healthcare institutions
Read the full press release here: https://www.moh.gov.sg/content/moh_web/home/pressRoom/pressRoomItemRelease/2016/press-release—cessation-of-isolation–moh-to-subsidise-zika-te.html