Excerpts from DBS Group Research report
Analyst: Rachel Tan

Healthcare – marginally positive 
In this budget, the government shared more details on the extension of the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) which was first announced by PM Lee Hsien Loong at the National Day Rally 2018.

The government will be extending the CHAS subsidies at GP clinics in three ways:

i) Extend CHAS to cover all Singaporeans for chronic conditions, regardless of income
ii) CHAS subsidies for orange cardholders (lower- to middle-income Singaporeans) will be extended from covering chronic conditions only, to cover common illnesses
iii) Increase the subsidies for complex chronic conditions

In addition, the all Merdeka Generation seniors (regardless of income) will enjoy

i) additional subsidies for outpatient care for life, including special CHAS subsidies (higher than CHAS Blue subsidies) for common illnesses, chronic conditions and dental procedures, and
ii) 25% off their subsidised bills (on top of the prevailing subsidies available) at polyclinics and public Specialist Outpatient Clinics.

CHAS subsidies were previously only available to the Pioneer Generation and lower- to middle-income Singaporeans.

We believe this bodes well for participating CHAS GP and dental clinics with the higher subsidies, especially the extension of subsidies to cover chronic conditions to all Singaporeans, regardless of income.

bed starmedHMI has a 70% stake in StarMed Specialist Centre which is located at 12, Farrer Park Station Road.  NextInsight file photo. Though the impact could be limited, GP and dental clinic chains in the listed space that could benefit from this include Raffles Medical (RFMD SP), Singapore Medical Group (SMG SP), Healthway Medical Group (HMED SP) and Q&M Dental Group (QNM SP).

In addition, Health Management International (HMI SP), which recently invested in StarMed facility (an ambulatory care centre) and Plus Medical Holdings (a chain of primary care clinics in Singapore), could benefit from the increase in subsidies.

On a strategic perspective, aside from reducing the burden on public polyclinics and medical centres, we believe this could indicate the government’s intention to progressively pass on more treatment (especially day treatment and long-term care treatment) on to the GP clinics' network to reduce its healthcare burden and expenditure in the long term.

Full report here. 

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