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medical cost: health net that was not there
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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Location: singapore

PostPosted: Tue Mar 04, 2014 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hospital tents as temporary buffers
Gan Kim Yong: ‘the tent used for the Admission Transit Area Extension at Changi General Hospital is part of the “buffer capacity” to respond to unexpected surges in demand. It was built in June last year.’
Well, in many services there is this occasional need for additional facilities when there is a surge in demand. Restaurants could put up side tables in any space available when needed. Our housing crisis over the last decade was due to the lack of tents to accommodate the influx of a million foreigners. The MND should learn from MOH to built tents as buffer capacity when the next population surge arises when they did not see it coming.
It is understandable that such buffer capacity wouldl be needed when there is an epidemic like the Sars crisis. Just wondering why there is a need to cater for a surge during the end of the year holiday season? If this is a seasonal thing, there must be better ways to cope with such demands and the number of additional beds could be fairly predictable after years of repeated demands.
When such buffer capacities have to be activated in a non crisis state or when there is no outbreak of a contagious disease, does it not say that our hospital capacities are already fully loaded or insufficient? One can imagine what the needs for beds would be like when there is a major outbreak like the SARS. The only good thing about this shortage is that it will be quite similar to the housing shortage and the huge demand could be translated to good profits with higher ward charges. Or maybe not since the ward charges cannot be subject to market forces and market pricing mechanism of supply and demand.
Incidentally, would patients housed in such temporary tents be charged the same rate as those in the normal wards? Oh, are these ‘Admission Transit Area Extension’ going to be a permanent temporary fixture of hospitals?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sun Mar 09, 2014 10:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bigger, better heart centre

A new $266m heart centre to accommodate twice as many patients as the present one will open for business on Monday. The 12 storey building can house 38 outpatient clinic rooms and a capacity to see 1000 patients daily or 200,000 patients a year.

Wow, this is a great improvement. It is quite surprising that so many Sinkies have bad hearts and needed such a big facility. And the good news is that many will have their bad hearts treated and go on living with a good heart, or a new heart.

It must be the affluence and too much money and too good a life that result in Sinkies having bad hearts, or it is the other way? Sinkies with bad hearts need not fear anymore and can live fearlessly.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 14, 2014 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Medisave tweaks, to save pockets?
So many reports on how the Medisave is being tweaked and becoming more flexible to allow the people to use to pay for more medical services, including drugs. These must be music to the ears of the people who are short of cash.
One thing has been silent through out the reports and all these months when the cost of medical services were reported. It was all about how to pay, and even the buffet spread of Medishield Life is also about how to pay. Though the equation has two parts, the Govt seems to be only interested in how to get the people to pay and nothing much really was said on how to bring down medical cost.
Not a word, yes, not a word in this as if it is something that nothing can be done to it. Why? You think and tell me.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Leong Sze Hian’s comments on the Medishield Life
Leong Sze Hian asked several questions on the Medishield Life Scheme following Gan Kim Yong’s comments in Parliament in his article, ‘Alternative daily news(81) Affordable Medishield Life?’ posted in the TRE. His questions would help many to have a better understanding of the things not said about the Scheme and is a compelling read, highly recommended for all Sinkies who are still not aware of what this Scheme is all about and how it would hit them when it comes into force.
I would just want to expand on a couple of points made by Sze Hian. He quoted Gan Kim Yong saying these:
1. “The premiums that lower- and middle-income households will have to pay for the new Medishield Life insurance that kicks in next year, will be the same or lower than what they now pay. That is after taking into account the Government’s permanent subsidies and Medisave contributions and top-ups.
2. “… a typical Singaporean household, comprising a working-age couple with two school-going children, will take up no more than half of their annual Medisave inflow to pay for their MediShield Life premiums.
In point 1, the meaning is that the gross premium would be higher but would be offset by permanent subsidies, Medisave contributions and top ups. Gan had said that the net amount to be paid would be the same or lower than what they are paying now. Would this be the same as time goes by? Would the permanent subsidies match any increases in future premiums? Would future premium hikes eat up all future Medisave contributions? Would top ups cease in the future or varies?
For the initial stages of the Medishield Life’s implementation, the net premiums paid could be reasonable if they are lower or the same. But there is no guarantee what the amount will be like when the gross premium will definitely be much higher.
As for point 2, the base reference is a typical household of two working adults and two children, and the premiums paid will be no more than half their annual Medisave contributions. Sounds fair and good. The problem comes when there is only one working adult. The problem will be further compounded for families with more than two children and only one working adult. For those single parents with 4 or more children, tough, take my word for it.
And the most important part that is yet to be made known, what will the Medishield Life cover and what not covered?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Medical fees, getting what you pay for?
‘…according to a study by the University College London (UCL), which was commissioned by the British General Medical Council (GMC) – the equivalent of the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) in Singapore.
It found that half of all foreign doctors in UK do not have the necessary skills to work there. However, they were allowed to practise there because the competency exam is too easy.’ TRE Editorial.
The above shows the quality of the UK medical profession and it also says that they are willing to compromise on the quality of the foreign doctors to make up the numbers. Half are substandard! By this act it puts the British public at risk when they seek medical treatment from these substandard doctors. And it is callous and irresponsible for the British Medical Council to admit such doctors to practice on their patients. They just did not know how substandard is substandard and how many patients are put to unnecessary risks or actually mistreated by these doctors.
In the case of the Singapore Medical Council, can we believe that it will do the due diligence, and unlike its British counterpart, only admits those that are on par with our own doctors? It has to be or else we would be exposing our own people to the same level of risk and mistreatment by substandard doctors like in UK. Anyone who is privy to the high academic and professional standard demanded of our locally produced doctors will know that we are having our best of the best as doctors. On this count alone it is fair to say that the foreign doctors are unlikely to meet the same standard as our very own, or at least many would not be. If they are of that kind of quality, they would be in UK or US. Is this a fair conclusion?
If the foreign doctors admitted here are as good as our own, then we can sleep in peace. I just got this hunch that it is not the case. And those who were rejected by UK would be here trying their luck. This is a layman’s perception and need not be right. Our Medical Council will definitely enforce the highest standard and criteria to admit any foreign doctor to practice here. It would be grossly unfair to our citizens when so many of our straight A students were rejected from medical schools only for the Medical Council to bring in substandard doctors from outside. We can’t be so stupid right?
And it is not only a matter of stupidity. No responsible Medical Council would allow substandard doctors to treat our people. On this count I believe we are in good hands. The second problem of a substandard doctor is the money we pay them. We are paying damn good money, first world medical fees. How can we pay so much for substandard doctors that are not worth a cent? In medical practices, a substandard doctor is a bad doctor and can kill instead of heal. Yes, not worth a cent. Think of the nightmare a healthy patient walked out from a substandard doctor with more problems, wrongly diagnosed, wrong medicine prescription etc etc and ended in more serious condition?
One thing the govt or the Medical Council must guarantee to the public is that any doctor certified fit to practice must be good, and in our case as good as our own doctors. If the gap is too wide, then the patients should not be made to pay the same medical fees. You pay for what you get and not anything they shaft it to you.
Are sinkies getting what they pay for? Should there be a fee difference for being treated by different quality doctors? Are Sinkies being shortchanged?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Medishield Life – 3 holes to plug
Without knowing the fine details of the Medishield Life Scheme, pending announcements, the intention and objective of this scheme look quite positive or very positive. The frightening thing is that such a good scheme has to be enforced by compulsion. The act of compulsion is never seen as something positive. Doesn’t the Govt believe that this is a very good scheme and every mentally sane person would want to be in the scheme except for those who are unable to pay for it? But this is no longer an issue as the Govt has a string of assistance plans to make sure that no one will be left out for not being able to afford the scheme. It is thus a non issue and there is no need for compulsion as those who have weird reasons not to participate would be very small.
The Scheme could be more sustainable, likeable and attractive if 3 things are considered and be worked into the formula. One is medical cost. Medical cost must be closely monitored and not be allowed to run away. This hole is somehow not addressed by the Committee as far as I can recall. And this is a very dangerous hole that could turn into a nightmare to the computation of premiums in the future. When cost gallops away, the pressure to raise premium would be very demanding and even appears logical and necessary. Would there be a watchdog or govt body to put a lid on medical cost? I cannot believe the Committee could totally ignore this devil in the scheme when it is the primary driver of premium rates.
The second hole that needs to be plug is profit. The Medishield Life is a compulsory national scheme and profit must not be factor in the equation. And no one must use the issue of uncertainties to impute too thick a cushion to address the sudden rise in demand for medical care. Such reasonings of padding the premiums or collecting as much premiums as the insured can afford is a dangerous precedent in the thought process. It is outrageous. The premiums must be carefully computed to be just enough though no one is able to predict the margin of errors. Any excess cost by future uncertainties should be treated separately as an act of God or accident of nature. If one is allowed to build in all the future uncertainties, the unthinkables, then the premiums would never be enough.
Related to the issue of profit is the issue of excess premiums collected. Premiums that have accumulated from lower claims must be ploughed back to reduce future premiums payable. Such excesses should not be conveniently channeled to another reserved fund to be accumulated for the rainy days. This is a national scheme to provide for the needs of the insured to pay for their medical care and not a profit making scheme or a scheme to fill the national reserve. Has this been discussed and worked out?
Would the Committee address these issues and incorporate them into the Medishield Life Scheme? Have they done it, or would they do it? These are three very big holes that could allow the premiums to go up and up and looking very justifiable, no choice. High cost, high claims so premiums must go up. Excess premiums or profits have already been set aside as reserves and untouchables.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mean testing – Still testing?
How many of you remember this mean method of testing people when they are admitted to hospital to determine what ward they should be warded? Mind you, if I am not mistaken, it is still in practice. Now what is this mean testing all about?
Mean testing is to make sure that those who are richer, can afford higher medical bills, should not be allowed to be admitted to lower class wards. The lower class wards are reserved for the poorer patients because of greater subsidies. So, if they mean tested you and concluded that you can pay for it, you go to a more expensive ward with less subsidies. You cannot decide to spend less even if you want to save some money. So, how to use less of your CPF when they mean tested you and say you must use more? Can Lim Swee Say help out on this when the patients want to save and did not want to spend?
And mine you, because of the higher subsidies for C class wards, the percentage of C class wards available is not determined by demand but decided by the hospital and can be like HDB flats, determined by ‘market forces’.
And Gan Kim Yong telling the people not to worry when Medishield Life comes into effect, there will be enough hospital beds for everyone. Now what did he mean by that? No more tents in hospitals under normal supply and demand situation? When there is a sudden epidemic the hospitals can be excused for not having enough beds and needing to pitch tents in the car parks or any space available.
In normal circumstances, would the hospitals have enough beds for the patients or would the patients have to wait in the corridors? Or would the patients have to upgrade to higher wards to get a bed? What would the situation be when the demand for hospital beds increases with more people aging and with more demands for beds when the Medishield Life kicks in?
Sure got enough beds and no need to worry? Don’t forget, other than the aging population and the mentality of Medishield Life taken care of the bigger chunk of medical fees, the population is going to go up and up, to the planning numbers of 6.9m or could be more.
What do you think, Minister Gan, everything ok and planned for? Sure got enough, no need to worry?
PS. Can anyone confirm that mean testing is still in practice?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2014 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Medishield Life – What to worry about?

Gan Kim Yong has fleshed out some of the details concerning premiums payable in year 2015 and year 2019. Under Medishield Life, with higher payouts and benefits, it is expected that the premiums should logically be higher. But given the fact that the coverage is for everyone, young and old, covering the whole population with everyone paying, would there be economy of scale to offset the premiums to make it even lower instead?

Gan Kim Yong announced that the premiums would be held unchanged for the next 5 years which is quite reassuring. This is possible by taking into consideration all contingencies that could be foreseen, a kind of front loading. So whatever that needs to be added in, real or imagination, or just to take care of the unexpected has already been added to the premiums payable. Just wondering what is the percentage in this front loading to the actual cost? If it is 30%, it means the premiums are already 30% higher than it should be. And this is a very conservative guess. What if you have a decision maker that wants to think of everything under the sky that could crop up and wants to include them for safety measures, never mind, it is ok to collect more?

Would Gan Kim Yong be transparent as to how much has already been added in the calculation of the premiums? There are enough statistics from the Medisave schemes to give a reasonable estimate of claims against cost. As Gerald Giam has pointed out in Parliament, the claims came up to be 67% of the premiums collected. I stand corrected if the number is slightly different from Gerald’s number. The data shows that there is room for the lowering of the premiums instead of raising it like someone who wants to cover front and back and top and bottom, every hole that he can possibly think off or imagine.

Gan Kim Yong has given the impression that he is very concern about the cost of premiums and wanting to ensure that it will remain affordable. I find the affordable formula frightening if the cost of medicare in hospitals is not reined in and not allow to run away like a wild horse. It would be more reassuring if he also announces that the policy and objective of the Medishield Life is not profit making and any profit would be ploughed back to lower the premiums in the future. Would he commit to this?

The other frightening thing about the premium tables is the premium for the oldies. Oldies are expected to continue to pay premiums up to the age of 90. How many people would have the money to pay premiums at that age? Many would have long retired by the time they reached 65 or 70. The PMEs may even be retired by 50 or 55 and cannot find reasonable employment. There are exceptions for people to work to 90. Maybe you can find some working as cleaners in the hawker centres and food courts.

Would Gan Kim Yong want to consider lobbing off the senior citizens from his tables, say by age 70 or 75? Would it be too big a burden for the govt to pay for the oldies? He has said that there will be more govt subsidies to help the seniors, why not have a policy to remove them from the premium tables and the govt absorb the cost? Under the PGP, those 80 and above will not have to pay for the Medishield Life premiums. Is this applicable to those in the pioneer generation but not yet 80? Why is this not extended to the future seniors when they hit 80? How many seniors in the future can afford to continue to pay Medishield Life premiums after paying for a life time and no longer having an income?
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 13, 2014 10:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Medical tourism can be a very good idea
Medical tourism is a big thing here. With our high quality medical professionals and facilities, and a very comfortable living environment for the rich foreigners to feel at ease and at home, we have many good things going to make the city state a successful medical hub. The private sector medical services are doing roaring businesses. There have been complaints that the govt private hospitals are also jumping into the bandwagon and forgetting that they have a mission to serve the needs of the citizens. This is unfortunate.
Medical tourism can be a good thing if probably structured with a bit of govt intervention to capitalize on the profits from rich foreigners with deep pockets to pay for quality services and sharing this with the citizens. Govt privatized hospitals can tap into this source of revenue but without going bonkers and neglect the citizens. By allocating resources and medical professionals to this rich sector of the market the profits generated could be shared between the specialists, to allow them to earn more and to stay in the govt hospitals, and the hospitals to lower costs for the citizens. How are these apportioned can be worked out without allowing greed to blind the lucrative process.
The private sector specialists could be encouraged to do some national service by offering a little of their time and expertise to govt private hospitals and the revenue be used to subsidise and lower the cost of patients in govt hospitals. With their comfortable income in their private practices, some could be persuaded to offer a couple of days in govt private hospitals as their contribution to community services, to share their good fortunes with the people.
An initiative from the govt with this line of thinking would make medical tourism a very attractive business and with a lot of goodwill when the benefits could reach down to the citizens in govt privatized hospitals. The govt could promote and institutionalize this as a public service system, benefitting the professionals and the citizens and make all parties happy with the system. It calls for a bit of sacrifice on the part of the private practitioners who are doing very well to do a bit of charity at the same time. It also allows those in govt privatized hospitals an avenue to raise their income level while still in govt service. And the cost in govt private hospitals can be lowered, subsidized by medical tourism. Oh, don’t forget to provide for additional beds and staff for the tourists that came along and add demands on the system.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sun Jul 20, 2014 10:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Healthcare: I’m thankful we have a prudent SG govt

“No matter how much the government raises taxes, there is no consolidating the budget unless social welfare spending is curbed,” said Robert Feldman, head of Japan economic research at Morgan Stanley MUFG in Tokyo. “If the government continues to let the spending swell, it will get out of control.”….
National budget outlays on social welfare spanning health care to pensions climbed 23 percent over the five fiscal years through March 2015. Medical-related spending, which accounted for 32 percent of social welfare outlays in fiscal 2012, is forecast to soar 54 percent to 54 trillion yen in fiscal 2025, according to the welfare ministry.
Abe needs to put more priority on social-welfare reform to prevent the system from becoming unsustainable, said Hitoshi Suzuki, a senior researcher of Daiwa Institute of Research in Tokyo….
I am thankful that we have a very prudent govt in Singapore. You should all be thankful too. Our govt spend prudently and ensure that basic healthcare services are provided without burdening the whole system.

Concerned Citizen on unfettered bashing of our govt

This Concerned Citizen wrote an article posted in the TRE with the above heading on the excessive healthcare spending by the Japanese govt. He quoted a Washington Post/Bloomberg post with the above comments. The gist is that Japan was overspending on healthcare and this is becoming unsustainable even if taxes continue to go up. And this is the reason why this Concerned Citizen felt so appreciative of our Govt for not overspending in healthcare. He is very concerned that our Govt will go down the road of welfarism.

I can share his concern and agree with him that we have such a prudent govt that did not spend excessively in healthcare. But he is only right in knowing a little of the truth. Our Govt had sent two study missions to Japan led by Boon Heng and Gan Kim Yong, one to study how to solve the ageing problem and the other about healthcare. From the dearth of information on these two trips after their returns, I can only hazard a guess that they found that there was nothing much that we could learn from the Japanese.

The revelation by Concerned Citizen and the Bloomberg report confirmed that the Japanese experience was nothing useful and maybe irrelevant to our case. If the report is true, then Japan is facing a crisis that would get graver by the days. We must not go along that path. And we don’t have to. We are in a very superior position financially as we did not spend much in healthcare. The people are paying their own medical bills. Now the Medishield Life Scheme will make sure that the people would foot their own bills without burdening the Govt.

The end result is that the Govt would have a lot of money for other pursuits from the savings in healthcare. We are so comfortable that we could use the money to party and party like there is no tomorrow. Next year we could see the country partying the whole year round, with big budgets for celebrations within the country and with countries around the world. We can invite foreign dignitaries here to party and they will invite us over to party in their countries.

We are very rich. We have so much money to spend on happy things. We could spend billions and billions on mega projects that would require hundreds of millions of dollars for annual maintenance. We bought top universities almost lock, stock and barrel. We owned think tank schools with scholars from the world, paid by us handsomely of course, to come here to think.

Notice that I use the word, ‘We’? Yes, we the people are paying for it. See how comfortable we are? We could have such a good healthcare scheme and with so much money to spend in other good to have glorious and fun stuff. Wait for the next National Day when we parade the F35s and our aircraft carriers.

By being prudent in healthcare spending, we can afford not to be prudent in other areas. Don’t worry, be happy. Money is not an issue. Prudence? When we have so much money to spend, there is no need to be prudent. We only have to be prudent in healthcare.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 22, 2014 10:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Money making and conscience
When I wrote the piece on the gardens and parks I have not read the ST yet. When I flipped over the pages this morning the whole issue was the main focus today. And they also talked about Chek Jawa and other islands with their wildlife. Would they also encourage the crowd and tourists to go trampling in these water treasures to tell everyone that the sites are well visited, with a lot of crowds? Any nature lovers would be worried sick. They often refused to disclose the sites and locations of birds and their nests etc for fear of the crowd.
The other big issue is the cost of medicine. Now everyone is pointing his finger at everyone for the madness in medical fees. Some even uttered that they did not know what are the causes of high medical fees. Fortunately there are many caring medical practitioners with conscience and are spilling the beans on foul practices and overcharging. But it will go on and on, just like legal fees. The higher the fees the more successful the practice, and the more dignity for the practitioners.
When people are desperate and ignorant, when they are in trouble and have to see the doctors and the lawyers, they are most vulnerable and ready for the knives. The sheep are marching to the slaugherhouse on their own, and everyone knows the practice and the plight of these sheep. No, didn’t know? All is fair mah. You want good service, you pay for it lah.
And the SMA was so hapless. If they come out with price guidelines, they would contravene fair practice acts and all the shits. They cannot have guidelines on prices! Buay sai one! They are being virtuous and following the law. I believe them, sure, I believe them. And the issue is so complex that they could not find a better way to overcome the high medical fee problem. Maybe they could set up a review committee. Maybe they could ask the public for suggestions to lower the fees. I just remember, public consultation papers, consulting the public is the answer to all problems.
Maybe they should bring in some foreign talents to teach them how. Or maybe they should send a few study missions overseas to learn from other country’s fine practices.
We are now so lost as to how to cut down medical fees. We were also so lost at one time about how to solve the housing problem. We are still lost at how to return the CPF money to the people. Maybe we need to increase the pay of the super talents so that they will use their super brains to come up with some better solutions to help the people. Oops, I shouldn’t say things like helping the people. This is a very scary phrase to use.
Maybe it will take a few hundred man years to review this problem of high cost and high fees. Maybe nothing can be done, it is market practice, or imported inflation. Maybe we need to wait for the next GE.
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redbean



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 30, 2014 9:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is healthcare subsidy part of government grant?
Or just an avenue to to claim something else?

This is the bill of my 15 year old child who had waited for hours to see a
doctor for 5 minutes.

1-The consultation fee “full amount” is stated as “$38.97”.

Consultation fees of private clinics like the Healthway Medical Group range
from $22 to $35. In my child’s case, it would have been about only $22 at a
private clinic. There are also neighbourhood private clinics charging
below this rate. The consultation fees at public clinics are expected to be
much lower for obvious reasons eg. no rental cost, lower staff salaries,
etc

Why do polyclinics jack up consultation fees to about 100% above average
private consultation fees and then subsequently offer an unbelievable
grant?

2 – The full amount of Paracetamol is stated as “$5.29”. But the retail price of a box of 20 tablets is only $2.50 at Guardian. Why do polyclinics mark up more than 100% from retail price and than offer an unbelievable grant?

A better comparison would of course be online prices. In the UK, a box of
16 tablets costs about S$0.50, which is a fraction of the stated price at
polyclinics.

MOH purchases Paracetamol in bulk which should mean they are even cheaper
than online prices. Which company does the MOH buy at such high prices from?

3 – Government grant – “46.12”. A grant is an expenditure item. Which companies are the recipients of all such government grants?

Attendance at polyclinics was 4,623,600 in 2013. If government grants
averaged $46 per patient last year, more than $212 million would have been
paid out by the government. Who ultimately receives the grants?

Instead of reigning in public healthcare costs, the PAP government uses tax
dollars (grants) to support and increase healthcare costs to unaffordable
levels. How could a visit to a polyclinic for a common ailment such as cough cost
$54 (before grants) when private clinics are charging much less?

This is ridiculous considering polyclinics:

- do not pay rent
- are not profit making
- have overall lower staff costs
- purchase medication in bulk
- provide a lower service than private clinics eg longer waiting time.

Conclusion

It is wrong for the PAP government to privatise public healthcare costs and
subsequently offer a “government grant”’. Hundreds of millions of dollars
have been paid out as “government grant”.

Phillip Ang


I received the above article through the mail. Looking at the numbers raised by Phillip Ang, they raised many questions on the funny formula of subsidies and govt grants. Why is there a necessity to have this complicated formula when a patient needs only to pay the net amount?

This reminds me of the PGP and the discounts that the pioneer generations are supposed to receive. What if like the above article has said, the fees have already been raised and the subsidies or discounts are as good as meaningless? Does anyone has any official figures on the hikes in medical fees and prices of medicine over the last 12 months to prove that there are indeed substantial hikes that will negate all the good discounts and the good feelings of the pioneers that they are really going to get a good deal?

If the hikes are more than the discounts or subsidies, then what? If the hikes are equivalent to the discounts or subsidies, it would mean LPPL.
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 21, 2015 8:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Medishield Life – A laudable effort but…
I would like to applaud the govt and the committee tasked with the job to come out with a reasonable, practical and affordable national medical insurance scheme. I still have many misgivings but this is a good start to protect the people from the robbers holding them at ransom, demanding money or their lives. There are just too many frightening and frivolous stories of ‘sick’ people being cheated and fleeced by medical professionals for their ‘medical’ conditions. The Medishield Life Insurance scheme would give the people some peace of mind and comfort in an otherwise uncontrollable medical industry with runaway fees that it will end up like choosing between staying alive and be bankrupt or die.
The available details on the premiums payable and the coverage look reasonable and fair without being extravagant on either side but still need some fine tuning. Below are a few points that I hope the govt would address or be accused of using the Medishield as an excuse for money grabbing and raiding the CPF.
1. There must be a cut off age for payment of premium. The govt cannot expect people to keep on paying premiums if they live to 100 years or 200 years. A reasonable cut off age like 80 should be applied and those above this age should still be covered without having to continue paying the premiums. Not everyone is a minister or chairman of GLCs and can collect millions to 80 or 90 years old. Many would have retired or lost their jobs by 55 or 60. How are they going to pay the premiums when they have no income and every cent in their savings is needed to tie over their daily living expenses?
2. There would not be many living after 80 and not many would need expensive medical treatments. The state must take over the responsibility of looking after the very senior citizens. The state can afford to. Senior citizens are not going to go for expensive heart by pass or organ transplant. Or certain exclusion clauses can be added to exclude such treatments but still provide the basic medical needs for free.
3. Excess premiums collected should be ploughed back to the scheme to lower the premiums payable.
4. It is necessary to have laws to ensure those who can pay to pay. But the govt must know that a medical insurance is unlike a vehicle insurance. The latter is needed as the driver can hurt and kill. The only person that can be hurt by not paying medical premium is the payer himself. Why criminalise the non payment of premiums across the board? Many of the jobless seniors would become criminals as many would not be able to pay without an income. This part needs to be carefully reviewed to avoid turning the seniors into criminals. Heard of compassion and honouring the grandpas and grandmas?
5. There is also a need to control medical fees charged by govt hospitals or the Medishield will become like a dog chasing its tail. The medical profession must not have a free hand to write their own pay cheques, particularly in govt hospitals. If there is no cap on this, a rogue govt can manipulate rising fees to raise premiums as and when they want.
6. As a compulsory universal insurance scheme, the premiums must be much lower than a normal premium or the existing medishield premium. It must be with the whole population paying for it. And it must be able to modify the coverage for those 80 and above and not needing them to pay for their entire life. This is simply unacceptable. It is crippling to the finances of the oldies and is as good as robbing the grandpas and grandmas. How can anyone conceive of such an action without feeling mean and evil? Where is your conscience?
I would just raise these few points and let the MPs that are supposed to be looking after the interest of the people to do the necessary. They cannot be seen as against the people. This is not a party issue and they must speak freely, speak their minds for the people, for once. The voters must watch every MP/Minister closely to see if they are for the people or against the people and giving lip service to serving the people. Watch those who vote for making the oldies pay and pay until they die.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 8:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Medishield Life – A life time living tax

With all its good intent and purpose, there is a sinister side to the Medishield Life Scheme. It is all good for what it sets out to do but it can be deadly to many people it is supposed to help. Just like the minimum sums schemes, the intent was good but the effect can be very painful and can even kill. What is the point of dipping into the bank accounts of the citizens to take their money and telling them they can live well when they are 99 or 100 years but they would starve to death tomorrow?

The Medishield has this wicked element in the scheme. It is a life tax from birth to death. One has to start paying from the day one starts breathing to the day one stops breathing. Not paying is a criminal offence. The parents would have to pay for their children and would have to pay for their parents as well, a real sandwich that must pay for three generations of living family members. Not many senior citizens would have the money to pay after 60, let alone at 80, 90 or 100 and above. Many would be jobless way before 60. How are they going to pay for a life time of premiums, particularly in the late years when they have no income?

Who in his sound mind would expect the retired, the jobless, to pay for Medishield Life premiums when they don’t even have enough to eat? Do they think everyone is a LKY or a Nathan or a Pillay and can afford to pay forever? Anyone with designs on the few dollars left in the pockets of the seniors, for whatever farcical excuses or good, is wicked and mean. It is a very vicious intent to rob the old. Leave the old and feeble alone, they need help, all kinds of help, especially financial help. How can any sensible and good people, with a good heart, forget about those with bad hearts, designed a scheme to take money from the oldies until they die?

The sandwiched parents/children and the Silver Brigade must stand up to resist this demonic attempt to take money from the oldies. They have to do it now before it becomes a law in the hands of the heartless politicians and civil servants. They must go to their MPs to tell them that this is very wrong and unacceptable. Putting a financial burden on the very old and feeble is unthinkable in a civilised society.

What have their parents been teaching them about taking care of those that need to be taken care off? Taking care of them is not using the mouth and then dipping the hands into their pockets. A govt of wise and caring people must know, it is not rocket science, that old people have no money unless they are the likes of LKY and Nathan. The govt must provide for their medical care. It is a debt to these seniors, it is being caring and grateful, being human, not money grabbing assholes.

All the MPs that are human, with a little human milk of kindness in them, must not allow this life tax on the oldies to get pass. It is time they do something that will be good for their own hearts. Stop robbing the oldies.
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redbean



Joined: 07 Mar 2006
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beware of professional robbers
Case One. Victim had some pain on the neck. The specialist recommended 4 injections. Husband of victim was cautious, asked for second opinion. Was advised to take some medication. After the medication the pain was gone. Cost less than $100.
If victim would have taken the specialist’s advice, each injection costs $16,000, 4 injections would have cost $64,000. And this did not include other consultation fees, and the pain for going through the injection regime, all for nothing.
Case Two. Victim had shoulder pain. Specialist recommended injections and operation. Total cost easily $50,000. Victim bought Elliment lotion to apply. After a couple of months, pain gone. Imagine the savings and the pain to go through the operation. Imagine someone laughing to the bank and the victim feeling stupid without knowing why.
Case Three. Specialist confirmed one artery was 25% blocked. Recommended stent insertion. Cost about $10k to $30k. Victim went on a diet of apple cider, ginger, lemon and honey. After 3 months went for review. Blockage gone.
What is the moral of these stories, all genuine? Don’t be suckers to the professional robbers. Be very careful and save your money. Always go for second or third opinion with a reputable professional that is recommended by people you know.
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