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medical cost: health net that was not there
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 14433
Location: singapore

PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

« TOC Feature: 28-hour wait for a bed at the Singapore General Hospital
Posted by theonlinecitizen on April 2, 2008

The above article was posted by Andrew Loh in TOC. It talked about a patient that only got to a bed of her choice after 28 hr wait. It also mentioned that a bed was offer to her in B2 ward earlier instead of B2 Plus ward but she rejected the offer.

In my view, the criticism for the long wait was unfair. First she was sick and should grab whatever bed that was offerred to her if she needed a bed badly. But she had an affluent sickness of being uncomfortable in a warm room and needed to be in an aircon room. So she rather wait for the comfort of an aircon and to endure the discomfort of being in the waiting area. A personal choice.

The other point raised is the lack of beds. But this is not a real problem. It is a conscious decision to build lesser hospitals (which also means lesser beds) so that the facilities will not be under utilised. It is a judgement call. You can agree or disagree with the judgement or value behind the judgement. The lack of bed need not be a problem.

If the thinking is right, or the value is right, lack of bed will not be an issue.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This guy damn anti establishment

He posted a comment in Andrew Loh's TOC kpkb at Singapore's best Health Minister, Boon Wan, for the tight availability of hospital beds. Would you guy agree with him? If you do, you are not only anti establishment, but also go against the judgement of Chok Tong. 'Boh tua boh suay.'Here is a paragraph of his post.

There is also the Ultimate Stupidity of LIE KY LHL PAP. KHAW Boon Wan said it himself recently, when he regurgitated LIE KY longtime stricture that ‘hospitals should always UNDER PROVIDE rather than over provide so resources can always be most efficiently used at maximum capacity’. Ha, ha, ha! You can do this to say, hotel rooms, where if there is a shortage, the tourist simply holidays elsewhere or room rates skyrocket to reduce demand. But hospital beds? Ha, ha, ha! Thus, the stupid, unthinking adoption of obvious ‘efficient policies’ to healthcare is actually killing some of our people and creating much more [unnecessary] suffering, my sympathies to Esther and thanks to Andrew LOH for highlighting this problem for us to discuss. - Robert Ho.
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Green Peas



Joined: 24 May 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 3:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think that he is anti-establishment but he is definitely anti-established-men.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 2:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I copy this from a post by TracyTan in Sammyboy.

Medical costs in govt hospitals are exorbitant. When my friend had to do an X-ray of her spine, she was told by SGH that the cost was $900+. When she did it at a nearby private medical facility, she was only charged $500+. When is SGH charging so much more than a private medical facility?

Tracy was complaining about the high cost in govt restructured hospitals and wanted Boon Wan to cut down the cost. Actually from the above comment she could be wrong. She forgot that SGH got subsidies and depending on the type of wards, the final cost could be lower. For those without subsidies, just too bad lah.

Singaporeans are so lucky but did not know. Laughing
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Green Peas



Joined: 24 May 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Go to Bedok's X'Ray Centre, they charge only $150 at the most and
you get the result almost immediately.

Ah Peks from Kopi Tiam called SGH as Singapore Gold Hunter.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat Apr 05, 2008 9:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Business of Dying

The lawyers are in a business to fight for justice and honour. In layman's term it is actually a business of threat. The rich and powerful pay to threaten people. The threatened pay because they were threatened.

The undertakers are in the business of filial piety. People pay generously for the last rites, a show of filial piety to their parents and loved ones.

What business are the doctors in? They are in a noble business to save lives. Or in layman's interpretation, the fear of death, or business of dying. In this business, there is not only the element of fear, there is also the element of filial piety, and also some elements of threat. What a powerful combination.

How on earth would people be willingly pay the hospital bills without question? How on earth would people admit their love ones into hospitals without checking the price first? How on earth could hospitals charge patients $10k/$15k or more a day just to find out what is the cause of the illness and get away with it? And the best part of it is that the patient still dies.

I am still very troubled by the $70k hospital bill for 4 days. The family had to pay $70k for the patient to die in a hospital. That is not a cheap way to die. It is not a good way to spend $70k in 4 days.

I would very much like to know the breakdown of the bill to see how a hospital justifies this kind of bills. Let me make a guesstimate. A class ward charges at $500 a day. Food at $100 a day. Nurses attendance at $500 a day. Medicine at $500 a day. There must be such medicine available. Specialists attendance at $2000 a day. Too much or reasonable? Use of top of the line equipment at $1000 a day.

Now how much will all these adds up to? $4,600. Add 7% GST, round it to $400. This will come to $5k a day. The rest must be miscellaneous I supposed.

It is driving me bonkers.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sun Apr 13, 2008 9:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Do I need more insurance?

My insurance agent asked me to buy more insurance. I said what for? My children are grown up and on their own. I am working just for some pocket money to drink 3 in 1 Nescafe and instant noodles. Where is the need for insurance?

Of course you need, she said. You will live till 100 and you have a lot of hospital bills to pay. Oh yes, I almost forgotten that I am indebted to the hospitals and doctors and they are waiting for me to pay up. No wonder people at 70 and 80 are still told to buy medical insurance so that they can enjoy their stay in the hospitel.

But I have a second opinion. I rather go to paradise than to pay a ransom to the hospitals. Why would a rational thinking person still think of buying expensive medical insurance at 70 or 80 years old?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

See GP and pay polyclinic rates

This is the latest innovation to help the elderly and not so rich Singaporeans to pay lesser medical fees. Those who are above 65 are entitled to apply for a Primary Care Partnership Scheme cards to enjoy this privilege.

The conditions, Singapore citizens and a per capita household income of $700 pm. Just bring your ic, proof of income or no income, and a CPF statement or payslip to a Community Development Council or a community centre or club. Ok, to prove per capita household income, I think you may have to bring more documents to prove the number of people in the household and how much each is earning or what they are doing. How else to prove if one just bring his/her own payslip or CPF statement?

Gone were the days when a GP would automatically run through his mind the affordability of the patient and charge accordingly. The place or type of residence, the general appearance or clothing, the neighbourhood, and if he knew the occupation. They did not ask for so many private information in the past. So a richer patient would be charged a higher rate than a poorer one. Not foolproof but a general practice by the GPs then. A kind of self regulation and social consciousness.

Now this got more money pay more is being institutionalised.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat May 10, 2008 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Boon Wan should go on holiday

There is an email circulating in cyberspace pleading to the PM to stop helping Singaporeans. With Boon Wan working so hard, he should also read that same email and take the message as addressed to him as well. He is just working too hard to help the Singaporeans which I think many are finding it giddying and must be wondering whether too much help is a good thing or a bad thing.

The latest is a Health Promotion Board letter for health screening at a discount rate. Whenever I receive a call from a bank or a flyer telling me about a promotion or discount, I never trust them. The discount, no matter how much, will end up with you parting with your money.

It is like a foodstall saying $2 a plate. You will end up paying more when you have to ask for more as the $2 does not give you what you want. Or a beauty salon advertising a hair cut for $10. Once in, you may end up with bleaching, perm, massage, facial, steaming etc etc, and from $10, the bill may come to more than a $100.

Just don't help the people so much. Too much kindness can be repulsive.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon May 12, 2008 3:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why not cheaper medicine?

A Mdm Chin Fong wrote to the ST about her experience with the Singapore General Hospital. Her husband is a retired civil servants. She noticed that another patient was given similar but branded medicine while her husband, being on govt medical benefits, were given cheaper medicine. She enquired whether the two drugs were equally effective and was assured the case. And when she asked further, she was told that patients could not opt for the cheaper medicine.

And I ask, why not? If the drugs are equally effective, why can't patient ask for the cheaper one even if it is not branded and pay less? This is an obvious case of a possibility of lowering medical cost with cheaper medicine. What happens to all the great motherhood statements about being prudent, being frugal and reducing cost?

The people, patients, must be given a choice to elect for cheaper medicine or more expensive medicine. Cannot is rubbish. Can someone answer to this simple question, why people must be made to pay more for branded medicine when cheaper unbranded medicine can do the same job? I can't believe that this is happening when everywhere we are talking about cost cutting measures.

Unbelieveable is the word. Does Boon Wan know about this?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon May 26, 2008 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crazy people and their crazy ideas

Singaporeans who have the privilege of living to the ripe old age of 70 and above should be preparing themselves to depart from this physical world. Only those who have a lot of unspent money should think of how to spend those money, and one prerequisite is to keep themselves alive at all cost.

And for Singaporeans who think they are lucky to live till 80 and above, enjoy everyday they can. Don't ever think of wasting your money by putting them into any form of life or medical insurance. The end is near. Whoever is asking people to keep buying medical insurance at that kind of age needs to have his sanity check.

But of course, if there is plenty of money, go for it, and try to live till 100. For those who need the money to live, live and be happy for the day. Everyday is a bonus.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We want branded drugs!

Yes, some patients are rejecting generic or less well known brand drugs. To them, they only trust branded stuff. This is quite natural for those who can afford to pay for the branded qualities. Hospital should provide the patients with the choice for branded or non branded drugs.

Did I hear someone saying that since patients are demanding branded drugs, then all hospitals should prescribe branded drugs only? I hope this is only a voice in the wilderness. I have to say this out loud as things reported in the TOM usually carry a hidden message. Maybe it is testing for reactions or maybe something may happen along the way.

Choice is important to the consumers. Let there be choice and no one jumps the gun to make branded drugs compulsory just because there are some who could afford them.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why can't I sell my kidney?

Who is the fanatic who decides that I can't sell my kidney? Why should such fanatics have so much say over my body parts? There are many people who are living in misery, not even able to feed themselves with a full meal a day. Some hungry for the whole of their lives. To these people, to be able to sell a part of their body for $20k or $30k can make their lives so much more pleasant even for a year or two.

Why should the elite of the world decide on the fate of these miserable people and condemned them to perpetual misery? Will their lives be better off selling a part of it or will they be better off in their pathetic state of being alive?

Then there are also the body parts of the dead or going to die. Cadavers have been so to medical students. Nothing new. HOTA has been farming body parts for free. Should the people have the right to ownership of their body parts and will it to be sold to benefit their love ones? Can it be seen as private properties, assets to be handed down? Why is it that the state owns our bodies when we are dead and also owns our bodies when we are alive?

In the case of willing buyer and willing seller, let the market forces determine how it should be sold. Why are we tempering with the market mechanism in a century when oppression or slavery can be persecuted by the law? Should the law make provisions to allow people more freedom to live a life they so choose, even to sell their body parts, fully aware and responsible for their own actions?

Human body parts are definitely better than animal or synthetic parts. Many have gone to waste through ignorance. Let the owners of their parts decide what they want to do with them. Any fanatics want to impose their moral values and superior righteousness over the rest of the people?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 01, 2008 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Under the cloud of high moral fanatics

The kidney patient is dying. Across the road, several thousands were also dying... of hunger. Some may still get by, living a life of extreme deprivation, never ever have a single day of a decent meal. The obvious outcome is that the kidney patient will die if he can't get a kidney transplant. Many of the hungry and deprived beans wil also die, miserably, without a day of joy and contentment to have a hearty meal. They simply cannot afford it.

But the kidney patient may live, and some of these hungry mouths could live better, if the gulf created by the high moral fanatics could be bridged. The logic of these fanatics is that the poor will be exploited by the rich. When has the poor not been exploited by the rich? Then, shouldn't they ask the poor if they are happy to live their pathetic lives given a choice to sell a piece of their organ to those who need them? Who should decide or who is deciding the fate of the kidney patients and the desperate poor?

It is bad to benefit from the desperation of the poor to buy their organs. Sound very noble and very tooth. What if the choice is a better life, free from deprivation, and still live on? What if it is a conscious choice, carefully deliberated, that the man is willing to part with his organ to provide for himself and family, a better life, and live with some dignity?

What these fanatics have done is to impose their values, their goodness and their selfish do gooder mentality on the desperate poor by not offering them a choice. The fanatics have decided and judged that they should not be allowed to live better by trading their organs. And the fanatics will walk with their heads hung high, that they are morally righteous, that they have helped these poor and deprived beans to live on, hungry every day, with little food and clothing. The fanatics will feel so good that they are their guardians, self declared. That all these miserable people are unable to think for themselves and needed to be protected from exploitation by the rich. Is that so?

Who is more righteous? Why can't civilised people, people of the law, work out some rules and regulations to protect the poor from exploitation and allow them to trade their body parts if they so wanted, without jeopardising their lives, so that they and their families can live better?

Are the fanatics really helping them by closing off their options!
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Jul 04, 2008 8:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Children of lesser gods

Toni and Sulaiman were both fined and jailed for their parts in the sale of kidney to Tang Wee Sung. They must know that in a country that is run on the principles of rule of law, justice will come down hard and swift. Whether they are smart ass super talents or penniless and ignorant kampong bums, our justice is blind. They will be dealt with in the same manner.

The funny thing is that Toni was exploited when he sold his kidney to Juliana Soh. Now he is helping Sulaiman to be exploited by trying to sell his kidney as well. Probably he must be relishing the great times he had in one of the best hospitals money can buy. Great cushion bed, attached toilet, colour TV and room service with beautiful nurses in attendance. That was what he got when he was exploited. And when he went home, he was back to his wooden hut and probably bed was a few pieces of planks nailed together. And every night the mosquitoes were having a feast from him. Maybe not. With the 186 mil rupiah, he could afford some comfort and not to work for another 16 years.

Now both will spend time in jail. Free meals, probably better than what they were getting back home. And I think ceiling fans are provided. And yes, they have fans back in their kampongs, the hand held kind made from palm leaves.

I can't help thinking that the two will be back again to volunteer to be exploited. Life has never been that good to them before.
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