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medical cost: health net that was not there
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 14299
Location: singapore

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 9:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Natural selector in govt hospitals

I was rather amused by what Salma Khalik wrote about natural selector in govt hospitals. And I was also not too amused by the kind of thinking behind the concept. What Salma said is that C wards were deliberately designed to make it uncomfortable or inconvenient, eg locating the toilets outside the wards, so that those who do not want to live with the condition will have to opt for better wards, and pay more.

Really we have decision makers thinking this way? Like dat also got ah?

Salma's recommendation is that hospitals should provide the necessary, some improvement will be appreciated without being extravagant, to subsidised wards. These hardup people know that they cannot demand for luxury or extraordinary creature comfort. But to make things difficult deliberately...hmmmm, what shall I say? Better don't say anything.

Can we provide these subsidised wards with a decent environment without the intent to make them uncomfortable? Hopefully we have matured, more graceful, and not being small minded like our predecessors.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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Location: singapore

PostPosted: Tue Feb 05, 2008 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Furious with Khaw Boon Wan

Forumer Seah Leong Khai was furious with the affordable $10 pm increase in MediShield premium introduced by Boon Wan. He used to pay $160 each for himself and his wife. Now each will have to pay $280 a year. This is almost double what he used to pay. But if you look at it from a monthly basis, it is very affordable. Only $10 mah!

What irks Seah is that after collecting $297m, the CPF paid out only $119m in claims and expenses. 'It had a surplus of $178m in 2006. It now has more than $925 m in net assets in the MediShield Fund.'

Seah asked why couldn't some of these be used for the higher payouts.

Now, how to explain to Seah that the surplus must be kept for rainy day and that $10 a month is affordable?
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lasik surgery getting cheaper

This piece of news sounds odd. Very odd indeed when it was accompanied by news that Lasik surgery will now be done using an improved and expensive equipment with enhanced technology. The result is higher accuracy and safer, and of all things, cheaper. Can this be true? How could better medical services be cheaper? This is against the conventional wisdom of paradise land. In paradise, everything, or anything that is better must be paid with more money.

The delivery of a child in a hospital, private or govt owned private hospitals, now cost thousands of dollars. Has the delivery of a baby been different today than those done yesterday? Why is delivery of a baby costing so much?

Several of my siblings were delivered by mother, free of charge. She did it herself. Are the women of today constructed differently? Or are the women of paradise built different that delivering a baby is now high technology and requires modern science to assist?

The way a child is delivered today, other than a complicate case, cannot be different from a child delivered a few hundred years ago. A midwife could do it, a mother could do it. It is a natural process, a motherly instinct. That's how the human race populated itself.

The additional cost today is contributed by all the comfort and fineries, all the pampering and the assurance of professional help. Minus all these, delivering a child can be made very much cheaper.

The increasing cost must be a choice by those who want to splurge on them. For the ordinary soul who just want to deliver a child the old way should not have to pay a bomb to do it.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 25, 2008 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Huang Lizhen's hospital bill

The MOH has put up an advertisement on the hospital bill of Huang Lizhen in the paper. It started with the first paragraph as follows:

'For the past seven years, Ms Huang Lizhen has been in and out of hospital, chalking up medical bills that have since wiped out her widowed mother's Medisave savings.'

Medisave wiped out! Later her case was referred to 'medical social workers, who helped her apply for Medifund assistance.'

The Medifund covered 100% of her bill after subsidy. And they were grateful even though the mother's Medisave was already empty.

For 79 days in a C ward in Tan Tock Seng Hospital for Systemic lupus erythematosus, the bill came to $52,000! Govt subsidy was 80% or $42,000. After subsidy, balance $10k was fully paid by Medifund. They paid nothing. Or they will be in deep shit since her Medisave was already wiped out.

How many people can afford a $52k bill? And this is C ward rate. It could be higher if in better wards. It is more than $500 a day. That's what it costs for world class medical treatment. Please don't get admitted to C ward if you can afford it.

Huang Lizhen and mother are so lucky. For those who are not as desperate as them, please make sure you have money, and plenty of money, to pay your hospital bills.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 10:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Reconsider 'single room only' hospital

Parkway Holding is going to build a first class hospital for first class people with only single room facilities. Dr Huang Shoou Chyuan wrote to ST forum asking Parkway to reconsider this decision.

I support Parkway for its business decision. As a private and profit oriented company, it must study and know where to find its niche to make money from its customers. The medical service is just incidental. They are there just to do business, any business, that can make money. All businesses must provide service and goods to those who are willing to pay. Forget about those who will quarrel over 10c or 20c increases.

Parkway is not a govt or public service to serve the people. If we interfere with commercial organisations and their businesses, we will ruin them. Might as well nationalised them.

For many years, we have confused between serving the people and making profits, between commercial business and public service, confusing between running a country and running a business. Unless we get this right, all the money that there is in the reserve will not benefit the people. In fact the people may find themselves in deeper shit holes.

There are times to serve the people and there are times to make profits. Reversing the two or confusing the two is a formula that will lead to our downfall.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 9:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Resort Hospital concept

We are now seeing more people refusing to be discharged from our hospitals. Now why? Are our hospitals so comfortable, like hotels and resorts, that people are having a good time recuperating there than getting themselves discharged? Or is the hospital cost still too low and the patients find them still affordable?

I think relatively the hospitals must be giving good value for money vis a vis the hotels. Otherwise these patients would have move out to stay in the hotels instead. Or is it because they have some savings in the Medisave which they might as well spend them or else it would be left untouched?

I think Boon Wan must rethink his idea of making hospitals more comfortable and affordable. The latter is a contradiction. Make it cheap they do not want to leave. Die die want to stay in the hospitals.

Boon Wan may want to reintroduce the natural selector concept in the hospitals. This may be a way to discharge patients and provide more bed space for those who really need them.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 8:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dying is a natural way to say good bye

The Lien Foundation is funding a research on palliative care to adopt a different approach to those who are chronically ill or who are dying and beyond the scope of medical help. It is high time that such an approach be adopted than blindly trying to keep everyone alive and incurring a bomb in medical expenses.

A lot of education is needed to educate the ignorant masses that dying is not a bad thing when the time has come. Prolonging life and suffering are.

At the same time the education should also go on to tell the people that living to 80 or 90 is not necessary a blessing but could be a punishment, a life sentence in pain and suffering, in lonely, in despair. People should not be envious of those who live too long and clamouring to want to do the same.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2008 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clamping down on aesthetic medicine and practices

The MOH is putting a stop to all the questionable procedures being marketed by medical and non medical professionals to make every living bean who wants to look more beautiful happy. It claims that many of the procedures are not even approved by advanced western countries and some are probably still under clinical tests.

I can't blame the medical professionals for switching from saving lives and helping the sick to this more lucrative trade and objective. At the end of it, what is important is money. Greed is good. Greed is our culture. And people are getting realistic and think first of lining their pockets with money than silly idealism about helping the people.

Should they ban tobacco and char kway teow as well? These are harmful stuff too, more harmful than just paying for aesthetic treatments.

Long live greed and money.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 8:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Professionals to self regulate

Boon Wan has stepped in to the new buzz and decided that it is too much work for the ministry to regulate aesthetic medicine. It is now left to the professionals to regulate themselves.

After the taxi bus implementation when the users rose in arms against the new regulations LTA also responded to modify the well thought out plans. It took quite a while though, and after many complaints before LTA relented to change.

Kudos must be given to the MOH for changing their interventionist position to one of self regulation within a week of the announcement. and the professionals better to a good job to regulate themselves and not allow money to get in the way at the expense of professional ethics and the interest of the customers.
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Grunt



Joined: 10 Mar 2006
Posts: 373

PostPosted: Mon Mar 24, 2008 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Too many high flyers in the Medical professions.

You forgot what our MOM Minister Mr. NEH said .....

indeed we are getting a bargain !
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sesame seed



Joined: 05 Jun 2007
Posts: 43

PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If a professionally trained medical doctor chose to abandon his profession
after taking the oath, to become a personnel manager, it really speaks
volumes about that person.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doctors selling snake oil

Are our doctors selling snake oil? What is happening to this honourable profession when every doctor is the creme ala creme of each cohort of students? It is so difficult to be admitted into the Medicine Faculty even with a string of straigtht As. Why are they resorting to selling snake oil?

Maybe money not enough. Ok, raise their fees and make sure they make millions. Or they can join politics too. That will ensure a decent living instead of peddling snake oil.

Our straight As students must be allowed to earn millions. That is the expectation. After all the course fee for a medical degree is not cheap.

What is sad and embarrassing is that our top brains are looking at money more than ethics and patients' safety. Reading medicine is to save lives and treat illnesses. Not the other way round, practising trades that may cause harm instead.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 11:45 am    Post subject: There is passion in the Medical Profession Reply with quote

While we chat about the recent furore on snake oil and aesthetic medicine, many kinds of views were expressed for and against the professional conduct or business of medicine, we must not lose sight of the fact that there is passion in the medical profession. There are many selfless men and women still living on ideals and goodness and dishing our goodness to help fellow human beans.

And for those who have ventured into the world of vanity products and medicine, it is not a bad thing either. It is far more better to have medically qualified professionals handling such procedures than Ah Lian and Ah Huay claiming to be experts and treating the customers.

What is important are professional conduct and ethics. While doing a business, if the end result is customer satisfaction and good value for money, the practitioners would have fully discharged their professional conduct. It is only when they push the services or products like mlms or snake oil salesmen, then rightfully eyebrows need to be raised.

I still salute those selfless men and women who live out their ideals to help fellow beans. They find satisfaction and meaning in life in their own happy ways. Some may sneer at them as being silly. But it is through such silly men and women that the world becomes a better and more liveable place where human compassion exists and make living meaningful.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

$70k for 4 days stay

Not in Shangrila, and not in Mount Elizabeth. It is 4 days stay in a govt restructured hospital, undergoing clinical trial to find out what's wrong with him. It is cheap. It could be more expensive if cost has not been brought down.

Some trials, attendance by specialists, and medicine. And of course the attention and care of nurses on 24 hr call. $70k or more than $15k daily. I thought it was some hospital in the US or UK.

The family paid the bill of course. He died on the fourth day. When I saw him he was still fully alerted, except for some difficulties in breathing he was looking healthy and still can engage in normal conversation. The death was least expected. And he paid $70k for it.

I hope I am wrong in the numbers. That's what I was told.

PS: I have been informed that the patient was a non citizen and would be charged A ward rate plus surcharge.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

On a similar issue, an unhappy patient wrote to Today complaining about surcharge on a Good Friday. He had to pay $9 more to a GP. The article also said that some charge as much as $30 during a holiday. It is at the discretion of the clinics.

What the letter writer was asking is that shouldn't the patient be told of the charges in advance, a case of transparency.

In the $70k case I posted earlier, I am not sure if the patient and his family were given an estimate of how much it will cost prior to admission. I am wondering if they would admit him if the estimate is so high or may even admit him to other hospitals. $70k is no mean sum and not everyone can afford to pay even with whatever shield and insurance.

It must be made compulsory for all hospitals to give an estimate of the cost and if more are expected, to let the patient know in advance. It cannot be a case of being admitted and be at the mercy of the hospital to have full discretion to do whatever it wants and charges whatever it likes. The patient has a right to know before hand how it will hurt his pocket and decide to go ahead with it.
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