One-third of CI patients in financial distress – Manulife Singapore

Dealing with a critical illness causes significant physical, financial, and emotional stress, study shows

One-third of CI patients in financial distress – Manulife Singapore

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

A survey by Manulife Singapore on patients with critical illnesses has revealed that around a third of these patients have spent all or most of their savings on treatment. Aside from the physical and financial toll of the disease, many patients are also suffering emotionally.

The survey, which polled 500 critically ill patients and caregivers, revealed that more than three-quarters (76%) said they feel like a burden to friends and family. Meanwhile, 71% of caregivers reported experiencing emotional and psychological stress, and 58% of patients are facing a fear of abandonment. Half of patients said that they would rather die than experience a relapse of the illness.

Half of respondents said that they encountered serious financial difficulties after being diagnosed with a critical illness. On average, patients spend SG$32,000 on treatment, while 15% spent upwards of SG$50,000.

Due to the financial distress, one in four patients borrowed money or took a re-mortgage to afford treatments, while one in five admitted encountering difficulty in paying for basic necessities. Six per cent (6%) of patients were forced to declare bankruptcy.

“With our survey, we wanted to dig deeper into the realities of being very sick,” said Darren Thompson, chief product officer of Manulife Singapore. “The main thing that stood out was how critical illness does not just impact you, but affects the ones closest to you, especially the caregivers. Life is a journey with unexpected events along the way, and we want to urge everyone to protect against life’s uncertainties.”

To spread awareness about protection against critical illness and show support to patients and their caregivers, Manulife produced a short film titled ‘The Unbroken’, which highlights the resilient spirit of Singaporeans even when facing critical illness. It is set in both the 1960s and the present, and depicts a family’s struggle against adversity.

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