Singapore healthcare cost concerns

5
With the general elections coming up this Saturday, allow me to resurrect previous posts about Singapore (scroll down).

My advice for voters?
Vote with what you experienced in the past, are experiencing in the present and what you think you would experience in the forseeable future.

I am grateful for the progress my family has made from the past to present and although I don't have immediate concerns about the cost of living for myself, I must not be short-sighted. I forsee that I might have a problem when my parents get older. Illness, hospitalisation, medication and/or treatment could instantly deplete one's savings or worse still result in having to out take personal loans. I have friends who were dead broke and had to borrow money from relatives to pay for parents' medical treatment. You might sugguest purchasing insurance for them but at their age, the premiums are too high and the insurers might not even want to insure them at all. Most people in my parents' generation do not have adequate health insurance. You might also suggest saving more money now. But how much is enough?

A) Should it be the government's responsiblity to ensure that nobody who needs medical treatment is turned away because he can't pay for it? Well, I think not. But it is the government's responsibility to put policies in place to drive healthcare costs down. My father just paid $50 for GP consultation and medicine that he did not need. He had a "floater" in his eye. The doctor said nothing could be done about it and told my dad his life story and how charitable he was by waiving consultation fees for needy patients. My dad is no rich man so he was surprised to be slapped with a $50 bill and forced to pay for antibiotics and painkillers which he didn't need.

I mentioned last year that I got charged an exhorbitant price by a dentist, and doctors frequently sneak in anti-depressants to patients' prescriptions to make money.

B) Should the government spend more on healthcare? Again, I don't think so. I believe that with the same amount of money, they can re-allocate subsidies and extract value from healthcare providers and insurers creatively. For example, I think that it's unfair for smokers to get the same amount of health subsidies as non-smokers. By redistributing subsidies from smokers to non-smokers, I'm sure many will benefit. I don't think this is unfair. Non-smokers have to put up with smoke in the air and may fall ill from inhaling smoke.

I would like to see some changes in these areas. The purpose of the government is to govern, legislate, and allocate public funds wisely.

If nothing is done, I can forsee that my finances will not be in good shape.

Don't vote based on theory; vote based on reality.

Living in Singapore, work and education
Do you hate Singapore?
Americans Luv Singapore - by David
Economic growth numbers do not measure prosperity
Will you be poorer in 2011?
Discouraged and jobless
The purpose of education
Paper qualifications are only paper qualifications
Starting salaries of fresh grads only get lower
Home ownership in Singapore

Healthcare
He gave me oral and charged me $15 for 4 squirts
Antidepressants: The new pill that cures all ailments
Opt out of HOTA if you really care about your family
Blood donation in Singapore: Altrusism gets us only so far
Blood donation in Singapore: Who gets the blood?

Social issues
Marital rape is legal in Singapore
Social stigmas faced by Singaporean Chinese women
Class distinction in Singapore
Death penalty for drug traffickers: For or against?
Singapore government supports animal testing
The Singaporean 5 C's is now replaced by the 5 S's
4 Singaporean attitudes
Educated guess or breach of patient confidentiality?
Men in defence forces

5 comments:

David said...

Yu-Kym,

I am not surprised that you, along with others in SG are concerned about rising health care costs.

Rising cost of health care is a huge issue in the States. Obamacare was supposed to have lowered the cost of delivering health care. Which btw no one, including this person or any person with an IQ higher than a paper bag could have figured out.

The American public was delivered the biggest lie ever when the current regime touted that universal health care, that truly describes Obamacare, would if anything cost less.

Perhaps on another planet. But none that I am familiar.

Your advice to SGs voters is excelletn and should be required reading!

David

Anonymous said...

Singapore is approaching a decade of independence. Each year under the same leadership.

From the 1st year under this leadership, different families start out with different advantages and disadvantages.

Some families succeed, some dont. But generally, most progress but with varying degree of successes.

But if you are still down in the dumps more like in the bottom strata of society, and still feeling like this Con-Mic fella who believes that he has been shortchanged or dealt a raw deal after so many decades of progress Singapore has made, I wonder why?

So when most others have succeeded...not to the extent of becoming filthy rich... but to a reasonable extent you can live a not too disrespectable life with all the basic amenities within reach, I wonder why you or your family is still struggling.

Is it totally the government's doing or your own doing?

I say it has more to do with your own decisions rather than the present government's policies.

So when you "Vote with what you experienced in the past, are experiencing in the present and what you think you would experience in the forseeable future"......


....and you see many aspects of dissatisfaction in some or most of your experiences, I suggest you look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself whose fault? More often than not, it is you who have not made the better day to day decisions when offered the opportunities to progress by this government.

So I say if you vote with your brains you will vote right and surely progress far if you seize the opportunities presented to you. If you vote with envy, grievance and blame and thus vote wrong, you will vote to stay more of the same where you are now.

As for Con-Mic, without the brains, no way he will vote right. His will always be the same. A life of con and comedy, always in hiding, always with jealousy eating himself inside out.

Silli cat

Anonymous said...

Wow, I told my mom that a friend's dad went to GP and got charged $50 for consultation and medicine and doctor told her dad that there is nothing he can do with his ailment and gave him medicine that he didnt need.

My mom was quite astonished and she said she went to the government polyclinic doctor and she was charged $8 for consultation and $11 for medicine which she ended up not taking at all because apparently the TCM medicine finally worked.

She said if it were her in the same situation as my friend's dad, she would have asked her children (probably me lah!) to call the doctor and complain why she was given medicine she didnt need and not let the matter go unresolved without a full reimbursement for the medicine.

On top of that she remarked she would have walked out of the polyclinic without paying if she had to pay the $50 fee and having to wait nearly 2 hours to see the doctor for an ailment that the doctor couldnt give a solution. How dare the clinic staff manhandle an old woman and stop her from stomping out.

Sometimes she can be very combative. But what a fiesty woman!

I spoke about this to my friend and he said he went to a private GP and got charged $60 for consultation and medicine and complained about the cost. I told him - dont complain if you dont want to go to the government polyclinic where the costs for consultation and medicine is heavily subsidised. He would probably have ended up paying half the cost. lol He said he wanted supposedly better medicines, he is familiar with the GP, much less waiting time and he doesnt like the feel of a government polyclinic lol

In my mind....why complain about the costs? But I kept my mouth shut.

silli cat

rizen said...

It is the government's responsibility to put policies in place to drive healthcare costs down.
I totally agree this is such a substantial part of the livability.
Rizen it is the government's responsibility to put policies in place to drive healthcare costs down

Waramess said...
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