Singapore’s controversial Herpes-related drug therapy fish therapy fish, herpes, and herpes all now have final approval from the National Health Insurance (NHI) in a landmark victory for the country’s controversial anti-herpes law.
The NHI passed the Bill on Tuesday after the public consultation period, which ended on January 31, 2018.
The Bill, which will now be presented to the Council of Ministers, has been opposed by the health minister, Dr. Goh Chok Tong.
She said the legislation would be bad for the Singapore economy.
“The Singaporeans will be hurt by this,” Dr. Pham Van Thoen told the council.
The law, which aims to ban the importation and sale of fish that contain the virus, came into force in March 2018 and the number of confirmed cases rose from 9,913 in December to 20,766 in January.
In June, the Singapore Health Council said that a large proportion of the fish imported in the country had the virus.
The Council of Ministerial Committees (CMCs) in July and August recommended that the Bill be amended to include fish species that do not contain the Herpes virus, such as sea cucumbers, sardines, salmon, and swordfish.
The Singapore government said it is considering amendments to the Bill.
“We will work with the NHI to make this necessary amendment to ensure that Singaporeans can still enjoy the benefits of our country’s high standard of fish treatment,” the Ministry of Health said in a statement on Tuesday.
The bill’s final approval came after months of controversy over the law.
During public hearings in August 2018, the NHM warned that the new bill would put Singaporeans’ health at risk and urged people to be patient.
“For all of Singapore’s people, the bill is the culmination of years of work by the Ministry and NHM,” Dr Goh said in August.
“I hope you will understand this is the last step.
The Ministry is going to do everything possible to protect the health and well-being of Singaporeans.”
The NHM said in its own statements that the law’s implementation would be delayed until 2021 and that it was unlikely that the final version of the bill would be approved by the Council on January 1, 2019.
It said that, “while it is not yet possible to predict the outcome of the NHMP, it will be considered by the Minister and his committee as the law takes effect in 2021.”
The Minister of Health did not respond to The Associated Press’ request for comment.
The NHM did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
The Public Health Agency of Singapore, which regulates the NHIS, did not return an email for comment as of Monday night.
Dr. Phan Phuc-Ling, NHM deputy director-general, said the NHIs new Bill would be implemented within the time frame that is prescribed.
“The NHI has determined that the amendments proposed in the Bill should be effective in 2021,” she said.
In June, Singapore’s Health Council called on the NHMs Health Ministry to remove the word “exterminate” from the new Bill, saying it would give it “an unintended, confusing and harmful implication.”
Singapore’s NHM added in a public statement that the NHAs amendment was necessary “in order to safeguard the safety of Singaporean people, as well as the public good.”
The new Bill was drafted with the input of the Public Health Authority of Singapore and the Singapore Ministry of Justice, according to a statement released by the NHMM on Monday.
According to NHM, the proposed Bill would make the import and sale ban on imported fish “consistent with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) international standards,” as well make it clear that the ban will only apply to fish that have been tested for the virus and not to fish containing any other species.
However, critics say the Bill will still allow imports of fish with a virus containing other viruses and/or parasites.
If the NHs amendment is enacted, fish imports that do contain other viruses would be subject to quarantine, according the NHMC.
Although the NHMY has previously recommended that all fish imported into Singapore be tested for any other viruses, it is currently not mandatory to test fish that do carry other viruses.
The ban on the import of fish containing other species of viruses is currently in place only for fish that are tested for other viruses or parasites, such for Atlantic salmon.
Earlier this month, Singapore passed a law to ban importation of fish without a virus test.
Critics say the NHMI and the NHMA will continue to allow imports into Singapore that are already in the ban, while ignoring the fact that Singapore already has the highest levels of testing and the highest incidence of any country in the world for other species than fish.
Read more about: