Man complains on TikTok after he wasn’t allowed to use MediSave for root canal treatment

MediSave cannot be used for root canal treatments: Man protests about policy on TikTok

A Singaporean man has taken to TikTok to express his disappointment after he was told he required root canal treatment but was unable to use his MediSave to pay for it.

Speaking to MS News, the freelance fitness and sports trainer said he had to make a difficult decision to settle for a tooth extraction rather than a root canal treatment due to the cost, adding that he believes the Government can do more to help its citizens.

Cannot claim MediSave for root canal treatment

On 15 April, Jay Ish’haq Rajoo posted a TikTok video expressing his views on the MediSave policy for root canal treatments.


#tiktoksingapore #singaporetiktok #fyp

♬ original sound – JAY i. Good Morning! – JAY i. Good Morning!

The 57-year-old, who prefers to be referred to as Jay, shared with MS News that he was due for a root canal treatment after a severe toothache at the start of the year.

After putting it off due to several reasons such as knee surgery and his mother’s passing during the month of Ramadan, Jay returned to the dentist to fix his painful issue.

He said he was then shocked to discover that the root canal treatment would cost a minimum of S$1,500, and it would not be subsidised by MediSave.

“That’s almost equivalent to a monthly household income for a low- to middle-income family,” he shared in his TikTok post.

Not wanting to wait months for an appointment at a polyclinic, he initially wanted to fork out money from his own savings to pay for the dental treatment.

However, he changed his mind and decided to go with a tooth extraction instead, which cost him only S$150.

He shared that he also chose to go with the tooth extraction to experience what it felt like for those who could not afford this dental treatment.

Root canal treatment is too expensive

In his video, Jay asked why root canal treatment is not a claimable option, given that it will lead to a “health issue”.

“You need to digest food properly, especially when you’re old,” he told MS News. “How can a person be extracting several teeth just because they can’t afford it?”

To better help Singaporeans with such treatments, he said, the Ministry of Health (MOH) should have a more flexible cap on MediSave use.

He also suggested shortening the time for granting polyclinic appointments and making information about Government subsidies more readily available to the public.

In addition, Jay called for better financial support from the Government.

Treatment eligibility needs to be ‘carefully considered’

When approached, MOH referred to responses it has made in Parliament about the use of MediSave for root canal treatments.

In a 10 January written reply, MOH said there are many requests for treatments to be eligible for MediSave deduction.

These “need to be carefully considered, to strike a balance between improving healthcare affordability, ensuring MediSave adequacy and keeping CPF contribution rates reasonable for all”.

MOH also said patients who cannot afford their dental treatment after subsidies and/or MediSave use can approach medical social workers for MediFund and other financial assistance.

“MOH will continue to review our financing schemes to ensure dental services remain affordable,” it said.

In response to another query regarding the use of MediSave for root canal treatments for seniors above the age of 55, MOH said on 2 April that eligible Singaporeans may claim subsidies at Public Healthcare Institutions and under the Community Health Assist Scheme at participating dental clinics.

It also reiterated the availability of financial assistance schemes such as MediFund.

“Despite this, there have been calls for the Government to allow the use of MediSave for root canal treatment. We will review this suggestion,” MOH said in the reply.

However, considerations include ensuring that seniors have enough MediSave to meet their healthcare needs, it added.

Also read: Woman performs illegal dental procedures at S’pore hotels after learning online, fined S$2.5K

Woman performs illegal dental procedures at S’pore hotels after learning online, fined S$2.5K

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Featured image adapted from @jay.ishhaq.rajoo on TikTok and undefined undefined on Canva.

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