20140721 World Bank President confirms PAP spends too little on healthcare

I refer to CNA report “Singapore’s healthcare system lauded by World Bank President”.

Dr Kim says “I don’t think there’s a single system in the world that spends as little as Singapore does …and gets the outcomes that it gets”.

Dr Kim clearly does not know what he is talking about for the following reasons:

– Dr Kim was here only a few days and probably shown the latest medical equipment.
– He was probably unaware citizens are forced to pay with our money from the Medisave Account.
– He must have been briefed by our million-dollar politicians with ‘Class A ward’ views.
– He was not shown our latest innovation ie special ‘C’ Ward – Corridor Ward.
– Neither was he shown Changi’s latest T Ward ie Tent Ward.

Latest ‘Corridor’ Ward

‘Tent’ Ward at Changi General Hospital

Perhaps Dr Kim is now thinking about cost cutting by implementing the above in Korean hospitals?

How good is our healthcare system is only for the users to judge and not any visitor. As far as ordinary citizens are concerned, it’s not there when you really need it.

Take for example Ms Tay Soh Hoon’s husband who urgently needed to see a renal specialist for a worsening condition. He was told to wait for 15 months. After some KPKB, it was shortened to 12 months which was not acceptable for such a medical condition. There are too many similar cases to mention but clearly Dr Kim was not briefed by our healthcare experts that such is the outcome of insufficient government spending. If Dr Kim was the patient, would this be acceptable to him?

Many citizens are also afraid to incur huge medical costs and become a burden to their families, especially elderly Singaporeans. Just go ask any ordinary old folks. But of course, for a person who is entitled to the best medical treatment, Dr Kim does not need to know the truth.

Was Dr Kim informed that our ex health minister actually reduced the number of hospital beds despite the population having increased by 1 million from 2001 to 2011?

Although my mum is 78-year old, she still has to pay yearly Medishield premiums of $865. Which country legislates their elderly to first save tens of thousands for their medical needs and subsequently draw on them so that the state washes its hands off the responsibility? Do Koreans do that?

Singapore does so because there are no checks on the government. Dr Kim doesn’t know the PAP can suka suka pass any law?

Most citizens will avoid seeing the doctor when sick, if possible, because we know for certain the high costs involved. By then, the situation would have probably worsened. If healthcare cost is affordable, one would have seen the doctor earlier and would perhaps have been cured. Instead of treating healthcare as an investment in citizens’ well being, the PAP treats this as an expense item and spends the minimum possible amount.

Perhaps Dr Kim believes a heart bypass operation costs only $8 after reading a copy of S T?

A good healthcare system is not simply about having the latest medical equipment. It has to be affordable to all citizens who need not have to worry about costs when we are ill.

A good way to price healthcare costs would be the amount ordinary citizens can afford with heavy subsidies going to the lower income and vulnerable groups. But no. The PAP has privatised the system and offers subsidies to impress the world that help has been rendered at every stage. Just take a look at a typical bill below.

The government always shows us the costs followed by the “government grant”. It also shows the GST payable but also “GST absorbed by the government”.
This is subtle government marketing whereby citizens are misled into believing the government has done a lot for us when in fact it is its responsibility to take care of us in the first place.

Instead of tackling the issue of high healthcare costs and providing more government grants, the PAP wastes too much time thinking about gaining political mileage. With tax dollars.

Dr Kim’s unqualified comments on our healthcare system are laughable. Eight words to describe PAP’s healthcare system – “Can die but cannot afford to be sick”. If Dr Kim really wants to know the facts, go talk to ordinary Singaporeans.

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