Saturday, July 25, 2009

The TRUTH about Healthcare ....

The US healthcare system is really in bad shape. There is no universal coverage with 47M Americans left uninsured because they can't afford insurance and costs have spiral out of control. In an earlier post, I posted a video that attempts to explain what has gone wrong with their system[Link]. Obama faces a big challenge ahead fixing healthcare[Link] and if he fails to deliver a solution, it will severely undermine his administration as healthcare reform was one of main reasons for the support he received during the elections. What happened to the Americans is a lesson for the rest of the world, if the govt does little and allow the system to evolve driven by market forces, you can end up with a costly system.

In the next few paragraphs, I will point out a number of interesting facts about our healthcare system and you're free to post your opinion and disagree with me....

Okay where do we start....the last major policy initiative was to impose means testing. According to the govt, the rationale behind this is to reduce the subsidy of people who can afford more so that more help can be given to the poor. While this may sound sensible, only the first part has taken place subsidies for the lower middle class and above have been cut, but the subsidy for the poor remains at the same (80% for class "C" and 65% for class "B")[Subsidy Table]. Have a good look at the subsidy table. If you're middleclass and (touch wood) suspect that you have a serious illness, you will choose class "C" to save some money. However your bill is now 75% higher because the subsidy has been reduced from 80% to 65%....you pay 35% instead of 20% which is 75% more. Many people don't realise this and think the reduction in subsidy is small. I've posted in my blog many times that means testing done at admission without consideration for what the final bill ($1K, $150k?) is puts middleclass families at risk. Without knowing the final bill how do we know if a person has the means to pay for it? That is a critical flaw in means testing and later you will see why this is so. Some people are still happy because they are getting some subsidy..better than other countries?. ...think again!
The chart shows how cost of healthcare is shared between citizens (blue) and govt (red). In UK which makes all treatment free under the NHS, the cost of healthcare to the govt as a % is the highest. Singaporeans needing medical care shoulder the highest (or one of the highest) healthcare cost as a % of total cost among 1st world countries even higher than the Americans whose system is broken. This is because the govt has taken part of the CPF contribution and used it for Medisave since 1984. As the healthcare cost escalates, the rise is cost is passed on to Singaporeans through means testing, Medishield and Medisave. Money paid to Medishield and Medisave is your own money - you can even part-take in private schemes (AIA, Prudential, etc) for Medishield. Private insurers participate only when profits can be made. The chart above was generated before means testing so our govt cost will go down even further and the burden on Singaporeans who get sick will increase. Why is the govt doing this? The main advantage to Singaporeans (who don't get sick) is taxes can be kept low and the govt can allocate the cost savings to other things like defense and upgrading. However, if you look at taxation, it has become more regressive over the years with the govt cutting corporate and high earners' taxes while increasing GST. The benefit of lower taxation goes to those with the highest income earners and corporations. Singaporeans are beginning to question spending on defense[Singapore boosts defense spending][Why are we allocating so much to defense] and other areas while trying to reducing expediture on healthcare - that is an issue that has to be further deliberated but you have to be aware of all the tradeoffs as you will be asked to pay even more healthcare in the future.
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You may hear people say, "I went to the hospital and found it affordable", "my mother got warded and the bill was okay" and so on. That is not the way to think about healthcare. In any system in the developed countries the majority of people will get good treatment and be able to pay for it. Even in the US where the system is considered bad, the main problem is 47M of 303M people are uninsured that is about 15% and 85% are covered. Out of the 15%, about 10%-20% will need hospitalisation in the next 5 years. So we are talking about under 5% in the US who will get into serious financial trouble due medical treatment....yet there is a need for reform there. In Taiwan, after studying the best systems in the world and creating their own universal healthcare system, they found that 99.5% of the people covered by the system. What happened to the 0.5%? They found out that the 0.5% were criminals in state prisons where medical treatment is free. For developed countries, where the quality of care is generally good, the main issue is universality....is every single person taken care of?...who is left out?..are there people heavily burdened by medical debt....?

(Incredibly, as I finish the last paragraph, my Sunday Times arrives and the headline is "100,000 women lack Medishield". It is Sunday 6:45am right now...lets continue).

There is a little secret about saving cost in a healthcare system without creating many unhappy people. In a hospital, a disproportionate part of the cost is due to a small number of seriously ill patients. The cost distribution resembles a pareto distribution where 80% of the cost is due to 20% of the patients who are seriously ill. Among the 20%, an even smaller number account for most of the cost. So there is a simple trick to cutting govt expediture and it doesn't take a lot of brains to figure it out - make the seriously ill and their family shoulder a large financial burden. A few days ago, there was this heart breaking story of a little girl called Marjorie Soh who struggled with cancer. Her grandmother sold 4 room flat and her father had to borrow from the banks and friends for her treatment(She was worth it all). Her bill was $400,000. The Soh family are not the only people who have to shoulder heavy financial burdens due to the govt zeal to keep its expenditure down - 400 babies are born every year with congenital defects and they are not covered by Medishield. The cost of treatment in ICU, incubators, operation etc easily reach upwards of $100K and $250K is not uncommon among this group that form 1.5% of the newborn. By leaving these babies out and make the parents shoulder the medical bills, the govt keeps its own expenditure and cost of Medishield down[Link]. The other people who were left out when Medishield was implemented were those with pre-existing conditions again to keep costs down.

We, as a society, have to decide how far we want to go to ensure healthcare is truly affordable for everyone. The issue is who we choose to leave out and why.... whether it is right to for the govt to save the cost of taking care of them to implement corporate tax cuts and increase other types of spending. The govt is already making sick Singaporeans (and the families) shoulder the largest % of total cost among developed countries.....with those who get seriously illness and parents of newborns with congenital shouldering extremely high financial burdens.

111 comments:

Charles said...

I have to thank you for mentioning the Pareto distribution of healthcare costs; a lot of people are complaining about medical expenses, but do not know about this distribution towards the severely ills

What I find troubling is that in Singapore someone with a serious illness has little recourse: one will lose his job, and will not be able to foot the hospital bill

The PAPies wil say "one's familiy can sell its assets for the bill", to which I say not everyone has a family, not every family's net worth can cover the bill

The PAPies will say "one can ask one's MP, or go to charity", to which I reply "what is the role of the gahmen, then?", "when one is seriously ill, one has to beg on top of it all?"

To ask ourselves "what do we do for seriously ill people?" is a valid question

sgcycnic said...

Guess when they crafted the statement country above society, society before self, they meant that lesser mortals are expendable. If we are not an asset, then we are a liability. Uniquely Singapore (Inc).

Anonymous said...

Wow, Lucky, quite a long posting.

Don't know whether majority of folks understand the issue or not, even if the truth is no good.

So this issue may not have much impact (even if it is bad) at the next elections!

All the Gahmen need is some goodies (like a bit of free ATM money) thrown in before the election and the electorate will fall line, hook and sinker for it.

Gahmen understand Singapore nan very well. Hence Singapore nan deserve the kind of Gahmen.

Anonymous said...

Are charges to Singaporeans at privatised hospitals like SGH, TTSH, CGH & Polyclinics really subsidized by the govt?

I think the case is similar to HDB flat prices.

In the case of HDB, PAP says the HDB flats are subsidized by the govt based on the difference between what a commercial developer and HDB would charge. Now this is like a monopolistic business jacking up the price of a good exorbitantly. Then it gives you a deduction and says it is subsidizing you.

Ever heard of such a ridiculous thing? Yes only from PAP the linguistic pervert. How could a government even think of such a blatant, unethical playing with words?

Similarly, on privatised hospitals' charges PAP says Singaporeans are being subsidized by the government. In reality the privatised hospitals charge commercial rates and PAP subsidizes the bill by up to 80% for Singaporeans.

In other words, there is no govt subsidy on the cost of healthcare; at best Singaporeans are paying for the cost, at worst the govt is making profit even after its so-called "subsidy".

------

And by the way these so-called privatised hospitals are still owned & managed by PAP but they are still run with many red tapes like any other civil service having to report to the MOH:

"Our public healthcare facilities fall under 2 broad clusters: the National Healthcare Group (NHG) and Singapore Health Services (SingHealth). These 2 integrated networks enable comprehensive yet affordable quality healthcare services through co-operation and collaboration between our public healthcare establishments... Yet as WHOLLY OWNED BY THE GOVERNMENT, NHG and SingHealth manage them as not-for-profit organisations."

But I am not sure about the last part, that they are not-for-profit organisations.

Anonymous said...

If they can make the old men and women take up menial labor, what is the big deal about burdening the sick and making people sell their homes to pay for medical treatment.

That is the system here. Accept it or go.

Anonymous said...

"Gahmen understand Singapore nan very well. Hence Singapore nan deserve the kind of Gahmen."

- Anon 10:30

I can't agree more with you. That's the trouble with Singaporeans - short-term rather than long-term viewing.

As to why Singapore by and large are like that is a case worthy of study by researchers. Let not the opposition parties think that to get into Parliament is so easy without understanding how people behave.

PAP has been brain washing the people for the last 40 years and do you think without working very hard to tell another version of the Singapore story, many more people can be easily persuaded to vote for the opposition?

This is called underestimating the enemy and not knowing the territory. In all battles be it in warfare, business competition or politics, it is vital to know the enemy and the territory well.

The territory here is the people, how they think and how they react. They are not going to tell you outright; perhaps they do not even know why they put the tick next to the PAP logo when they vote. It's probably instinctive.

But such instinct is also sometimes internalised via ubiquitous political propaganda and I think this is so when it comes to Singaporeans' attitude to voting.

Just to provide an interesting case example : An associate wondered why are Singaporeans so stupid to give PAP so much power. In the same breath he opined that he admired LKY very much based on his national rally speeches.

I saw that as the result of powerful propaganda. The national rally speeches of LKY had created such a powerful hold on the people.

May be instead of just picking on issues, the opposition should start spreading the long view to the people. Create future scenarios of what is to come to warn the people given the policies of PAP.

But if they are not sure, the opposition should engage top international political research organisations to help them. Just like in the business world, even big companies have to do that to beat the competition and to gain market share. It is a complex world out there. Just don't be cocksure that you know everything, opposition. You have already failed time and again in past elections.

To me LTK and CST are MPs by PAP's permission to show a facade of democracy. As far as their parties' strategies are concerned I don't think they have got it yet otherwise they would won more seats.

Anonymous said...

I feel sorry for the likes of Marjorie Soh and her family, who were left to rot and sink alone.

The country will let us go bankrupt and homeless if we have no money to pay our bills. By the same logic, we should do likewise and walk away when the country is in need.

The country is pragmatic towards us, why can't we be pragmatic in our loyalties too?

"We, the citizens of Singapore, pledge ourselves as one united people..."

I suppose we are only united as long as we don't have help shoulder each others' medical bills.

Anonymous said...

If the Medisave money of all Singaporeans are pooled together as a single fund from which serious cases like Majorie Soh can draw from using good enough C class hospitalisation, I believe that could lead to a solution to our national healthcare issue.

Remember that afterall the Medisave can never be withdrawn even upon death, so might as well make it into a collective fund and through that everyone is assured of healthcare support without running into a mountain of debt like Majorie's family.

But there might be a problem. Is all the Medisave money still there or has part or even a large part of it been used by GIC and Temasek for its global investments?

If this were the case, it would require that these 2 investment arms divest of some of their portfolios to bring back the money for its stated purpose - healthcare.

Onlooker said...

Singapore INC

Anonymous said...

We are heading the way of the Americans sooner than expected, the way insurers, health care providers and the Government are drinking side by side from the same trough.

Health care solutions we are adopting is a zero sum game. The Government and healthcare providers are trying to get the most out of those with insurance, while insurers are squeezing more and more in premiums out of the insured to pay the hospitals.

Many may have private healthcare insurance now, (bought after hearing all the horror stories about massive hospitalisation bills which the insurance companies are fond of pointing out), but paying the premiums may not be that easy as one ages.

In the end those who cannot afford the escalating premiums will just drop out from being insured. That's the reality now.

Lost Citizen

Anonymous said...

Come to Australia where medical is free and medications heavily subsidised.
Singapore used to be like that before Goh Chok Tong as health minister under Lee Kuan Yew decided to abdicate their responsibility to Singaporeans and made them bear the burden of their medical treatments.

Anonymous said...

This is another examaple of the cruel system the pap created.

Anonymous said...

Which means
1. the subsidy for the poor remain the same.
2. middle income group has to pay more.
3. high income group has to pay the most... (however they are rich)

Hence, result a overall reduction in the medical cost subsidy from the gahman. Oh, that is what our health minister(a FT)is made of.
No wonder he suggests Singaporeans should to put their parents to Johor to die.

Anonymous said...

high income group has to pay the most... (however they are rich)

I think they go to private hospital anyway, regardless of the situations in public hospitals.

Anonymous said...

Come to Australia where medical is free and medications heavily subsidized.

What about New Zealand?

I intend to emigrate there as I find the place better than Australia.

Anonymous said...

I was born with a birth defect. Insurers don't want to do my business. The one that did included many exclusions and also doubled my premium. If i come down with an illness, i have the feeling they will use my birth defect as an excuse to avoid compensating my medical expenses. The only insurance I am eligible for is accidental death.

Even government employers included clauses to avoid paying my medical bills if i come down with an illness remotely related to my birth defect.

So basically I am uninsured. I have the following options if I get an expensive illness:

1. earn as much as money as possible while I am still healthy

2. if i can't achieve 1. , then kill myself via fake accident. Hopefully my family can get accidental death insurance payouts.

3. earn money by illegal means. It seems to me that state frowns more on poor sick people than people who cheat. Take the Chinese PR who's responsible for the Grangeford illegal subletting fiasco for example. He has been illegally subletting in Singapore since 2001 and no action has been taken against him. Instead he has become a millionaire!

Whenever the state tells us to sacrifice for the sake of the country, i cringe. In Singapore, $$$ is king. They want you to sacrifice so that they can avoid paying you market rate for your contribution. When the situation is reversed, do you think they will sacrifice for you? Take blood donation for example, they take your blood for free but turn around and sell it to medical tourists for $$$. When fellow citizen no money to pay bill, no money no talk.

Anonymous said...

My logic very simple one... if we as a society or nation cannot take care of the weakest and poorest amongst us, then this society has failed.

however the pap garment loves to mollycoddle the rich and those who need help the least (lower taxes for the rich!)... LHL's trickle down economics eh?

recruit ong

Anonymous said...

My child who is 2 years old now was born with a heart defect that require 2 operations, long stay in ICU and stepdown care. My bill was more $100K although my pay was above average, I had just started work. I was contemplating selling my home but was "rescued" by my uncle who gave me a loan.

I had never felt so abandoned by the "system" in my life. While the doctors and nurses were fantastic, the system was disappointing.

Anonymous said...

Dear people of Singapore, we really have to voice out at the next general election. And if the pap is watching this blog, I hope you can reflect on your actions. There are people dying, we need help.

Charles said...

Dear anonymous (with heart defect child),

you should do us all a service by posting to the ST Fprum (or here) the detail of how much was the bill, how much was paid by insurance medishield, and how much was paid by you (medisave+cash)

Singaporeans need to learn the truth about the health cost (it is not the ward that costs, it is the health itself)

with love for your child, and all hospitalised children

Charles

Anonymous said...

The PAP government really makes the George W. Bush administration look like a bunch of bleeding heart liberals.

Anonymous said...

I'm judgemental like Parka and I think people shouldn't have babies if they do not have 100-250k CASH sitting in the bank!

Yes, I also tell people not to be too picky about jobs and low pay!

YOUR FAULT for not having enough money and not having enough babies. Every single thing is your fault, not mine nor Parka's!

Anonymous said...

BTW, who are the BENEFICIARIES of all these crazy military spending?

Anonymous said...

for cases like 17:57, we should galvanize the charities(++religious organization) to help these people to defray the costs( like soh family etc).

the consoling factor is that they amount to a small fraction of our population and should be easily attended to.

more work should go into targeting/pressurizing religious organizations which spent an obscene amount of money on staff renumeration, businesses and extravagant buildings and ornamentation instead of helping people like 17:57

other than that, according to report, our health care system, though imperfect, is still one of the best which works for most people

Anonymous said...

BTW, who are the BENEFICIARIES of all these crazy military spending?

It is not going to be NSFs and reservists people.

I wonder where all the money is spend in defense.

Defense spending is one that they can officially kept secrets as it will so called threaten national security.

Charles said...

anonymous 6/7/09 18:38

How do you measure the Singapore system to be one of the best?

Is it normal that charities take over the government for healthcare?

The problem with most Singapore charities is that
1/ they do not spend much money on their cause
2/ they have high cost of raising money (those who appear on TV)
Only a few have issues with staff pay (like a monk and b f)

Anonymous said...

All you need to do is to think about running the country like a business and all that is being done will make cents.

Increase assets and reduce / transfer liabilities.

Anonymous said...

i think some are not aware we have, in our presence, religious ministers who are paid in $$millions$$ and live in the best district this country has to offer.

the founders of these religions mostly have a heart for the poor and the sick.

let's not go overboard with miracles.fact is, medical science are doing most of the work of healing the people.

religious adherents should dispense monies collected in the name of their gods to "healing" and thus, in principle, fulfilling the work of their founder or originator.

i am sure, people like the sohs will be much appreciated.

there is no greater salvation then to save and transform lives.

Anonymous said...

extracted from wikipedia:

Singapore has "one of the most successful healthcare systems in the world, in terms of both efficiency in financing and the results achieved in community health outcomes," according to an analysis by global consulting firm Watson Wyatt.[62] Singapore's system uses a combination of compulsory savings from payroll deductions (funded by both employers and workers) a nationalized catastrophic health insurance plan, and government subsidies, as well as "actively regulating the supply and prices of healthcare services in the country" to keep costs in check; the specific features have been described as potentially a "very difficult system to replicate in many other countries." Many Singaporeans also have supplemental private health insurance (often provided by employers) for services not covered by the government's programs.

Anonymous said...

Individual should be charitable, religious organizations and other voluntary should be helping out.

Yes, yes, yes.

But that would be missing the main point of Lucky's article which is that first of all and at the heart of the healthcare system is a government to manage it properly for the good of all and not just for some.

As to why such a viable collective system for the common good is not in place until now is anyone's guess.

I understand of course ours is an individualized system, where CPF and Medisave savings are not shared in a common pool. Furthermore PAP had been so busy using the monies to do business that it never considered insurance schemes except the types that have all the "head I win, tail you lose" odds stacked against the individual.

Even now faced with rising healthcare costs, PAP prefers to go for underhanded policies such as legalising organ trading euphemistically called "compensation to donor", and urging people to send their old folks to Johor for their last days.

This is PAP leadership which has lost its moral compass, in whose mind there is only monetary cost-benefit analysis in the interest of PAP, to make its job easy, to enable its leadership and elite to soak in luxury and do want it wants.

But at the end of the day, are the 66% of Singaporeans still sleeping and have to wait to personally suffer from PAP policies before they understand.

Each man for himself will only continue work neatly into the traps of this soulless regime.

Anonymous said...

even someone without the benefit of researched materials can spot your empty rhetorics.

i am no fan of our elitist's system but, some moderation and balance please.

Anonymous said...

Some people want balance and moderation but ask first where is PAP's balance and moderation?

Anonymous said...

pls do not randomly accuse people of empty rhetoric. Which person and what do u disagree with?

LuckySingaporean said...

anon 20:22,

If you can say where the article is wrong, and what is incorrect, I'll will be happy to fix it.

anon 19:37,

I don't know who wrote that paragraph on wikipedia (maybe someone from MOH). Anyway, I did not say the healthcare system in Singapore, I merely pointed out the trade-offs and who has been left out and saddled with high bills in the system. If anyone so conclude from there that the system is bad, it is an opinion base on his own values.

Anonymous said...

that's what charities are for. so if we have responsible ppl falling thru the cracks, we need to question the charity bodies.

what have they, these charitable organization, been doing for these ppl and why are they so inaccessible?

problem solved!

Anonymous said...

The reason why some of these organization is "inaccessible" is because they channel some of their acquired funds( in millions) to INVESTMENT like properties etc and paying themselves ridiculous amount of salary.

A case of misguided priorities!

Fievel said...

After 85 medishield no more coverage u know. So in a few yrs time when many more of our parents are older than 85 and fall sick, such as dementia or wadever that plagues the old, then what happens? Nursing home too expensive for us then what? Send them to Malaysia's nursing home as some MP suggested? Or do we quit our jobs to take care of them at home and earn no income to feed the young? Mister Lee Kuan Yew is 86 this year. Does that make him not worthy of our help? Oh no actually he has enough lah.

Anonymous said...

Some mentioned charities, ah we all know a bit about that.

NKF & RenCi were charities but were the public donations properly used?

There are many charities called VWO (Voluntary Welfare Organisations). Some definitely are doing good work like housing, skill training and giving the handicapped employment.

Some people go there to donate money BUT as to whether the money is well used, it is hard to say.

After all, manpower like CEOs do not come cheap nowadays. The few CEOs of VWOs interviewed by ST years back said their salaries ranged from S$7,000 to S$15,000 monthly.

I heard that before the scandal broke out in RenCi, administrative assistants there were paid around S$3,000 monthly.

So the cost of running VWOs is not any cheaper than commercial firms.

Another thing is SCSS which looks after the public donation called Community Chest does not have enough money to distribute annually to all the over 1,000 VWOs. Some get a few Ks, some get nothing.

SCSS employs social workers and they are not cheap either. Social workers have U degrees, so you can imagine the cost involved. Some of them work in the hospitals' social services department, so that patients can request social assistance from them if they know that such exists.

Remember public donations to Community Chest is used to pay these professionals and also the overheads like office rental and electricity.

The PAP govt does not contribute regularly to the Community Chest run by SCSS but only as and when it fancies like may be several $millions a year, hardly sufficient to fund all the VWOs even fractionally.

As for wealthy churches, do you think the PAP leave them at peace. The Methodist Church in Singapore has suffered from PAP for not taking its advice to set up an folks home many years back. It historical Sophia Mount headquarters was resettled at a below market price.

The Roman Catholic Church resisted the PAP in using some of its nursing homes because they were meant for its church members but the PAP through the hospitals did not make it easy for them to practise their parochialism. They will send to them patients needing nursing at will. One can only imagine the bad blood, especially after the Marxist conspiracy accusation many years back by PAP on that church.

As for the less traditional wealthy churches I have not enough information to say anything. Someone in the know might like to help out here.

But of course churches should also be a term for religious organisations and not pertain only to Christianity. There are also wealthy temples around, so this issue should involved them also.

In all, PAP tries to shirk its responsibility to the people in healthcare by making VWOs and churches take over the burden as much as possible. Hence some people say: "Then what is the govt for?"

That sounds rather absolute but if you think about it, what they say makes a lot of sense. What they are saying is that the government is elected to look after the people even if it needs be through higher taxation.

But in actual fact, already there is a very high hidden taxation of over 30% for social security called CPF contributions, leave alone the other taxes.

At that rate, why is the PAP unable to manage intelligently the huge CPF funds to provide for universal healthcare (and retirement income) for the people?

I believe the total CPF fund might have reached S$200 billion by now but PAP is not revealing how much exactly.

Anyway, we must know that GIC & Temasek use Singapore's international reserves which includes the CPF fund to invest. Anyone who still thinks the international reserves of Singapore does not include the CPF fund is misinformed. He or she just need to visit the IMF site to find out. It is reported under the heading that the social security (CPF) portion of Singapore's international reserves has still to be reported to IMF by the Singapore officials.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Lucky for this insightful post.

All said and done, let's all be responsible for our own health starting now.

Water is the best medicine, cheap and plentiful. Look no further....

http://www.watercure2.org/

Take care everyone.

Anonymous said...

there is a very high hidden taxation of over 30% for social security called CPF contributions, leave alone the other taxes.

Once step out of the house means pay taxes through SBS and SMRT. Take taxi also pay taxes indirectly, rental income from taxi drivers to Comfort.

Buy cars pay at least $10 000 immediately, not to mention ERP and petrol taxes.

Buy things at supermarket, most probably NTUC, also pay taxes, they do make profits.

Buy insurance from NTUC, they also earn. Watch TV at home also pay taxes through Mediacorp, worse still, we don't get quality dramas and variety shows like HK and Taiwan. Ever since our national TV is owned by some company,the shows also become dysfunctional a bit like our public transport through relentless cost cutting.

Ever since our national tv become known as mediacork, there don't seems to be any memorable shows like before.

Still have not mentioned water and electricity. Their tariffs formulas seems to be shrouded in such a mystery that somehow the price can only go up regardless of oil prices and we generate electricity usng natural gas.

Ball crusher said...

Mister Lee Kuan Yew is 86 this year.
Mister Lee Kuan Yew is paid $3.5m per year for no apparent reason.
Mister Lee Kuan Yew also simultaneously draws pension of 2/3rds last salary ($1.5m?).
Mister Lee Kuan Yew claims to serve on GIC for free. GIC accounts are a state secret.
Mister Lee Kuan Yew is a major partner of Lee & Lee, solicitors.
Mister Lee Kuan Yew & family enjoy the top civil servant's perk of FREE medical care, irrespective of cost.
Mister Lee Kuan Yew has ALWAYS lived the lifestyle of the rich and famous.
Mister Lee Kuan Yew couldn't give a rat's ass about YOUR petty health care gripes, understand?


"…I regret making the decision because, in the end, the baby continued to be in intensive care, and KKH now runs up a total bill of more than $300,000…"

- Lim Hng Kiang, regretting the decision to save a baby's life because KKH ran up a $300,000 bill.


So why don't you pathetic Stinkies read the writing on the wall? Are you blind, deaf and dumb? In that case, your medical bills will certainly bankrupt you and serve you bloody well right for knowing the value of nothing.

Anonymous said...

In order for the government to spend more on healthcare, there has to be trade offs. Our surplus would not be so big and we would not be able to build such a massive reserve. I believe the government is obsessed with having the highest reserve per capita in the world. That is something to brag about. Having the best healthcare in the world is not the same as people assume that is something the government should do anyway. Anyway, many who need help with medical costs suffer in silence. They're helped by friends, relatives and charitable organisations. Many are financially ruined permanently. The Singapore success story is littered with countless such casualties. Media don't report, we don't see. The government has shirked its responsibility to the people. This is but one example. Personally, Singapore will still be a relatively good place to live in compared to its neighbours but life will be increasingly difficult for the future generations. The first class infrastucture will still be there, the wonderful statistics will still be there but life at the individual level will be tough, at least financially.

Anonymous said...

"Our surplus would not be so big and we would not be able to build such a massive reserve. I believe the government is obsessed with having the highest reserve per capita in the world."

appears to be true

"That is something to brag about."

appears to be true



"Anyway, many who need help with medical costs suffer in silence. They're helped by friends, relatives and charitable organisations. Many are financially ruined permanently."

appears to be true

"The Singapore success story is littered with countless such casualties."

appears to be true

"Media don't report, we don't see. The government has shirked its responsibility to the people."

appears to be true

"Personally, Singapore will still be a relatively good place to live in compared to its neighbours but life will be increasingly difficult for the future generations."

appears to be true

"The first class infrastucture will still be there, the wonderful statistics will still be there but life at the individual level will be tough, at least financially."

appears to be true and it probably is true.

Anonymous said...

turning to charity for help is rather "a lost of face" for an asian society. therefore, cases like anon 17:57 will unlikely find themselves knocking at the doors of charity for help.

furthermore, authorities will ensure you try everything in your capacity first - to the pt of "losing your pants" - before help comes to your rescue.

that means, you must be on the verge of "suicide" but be then, it maybe too late for some.


these elites(too much head knowledge - useless - and too little heart and soul) ought to be shot for "economic homicide"

Anonymous said...

@Lucky

Ur mistakes:
#1. U seem to believe that public healthcare is 1st class. Only true if you are some VVIP. Or rich Arab. Otherwise u are just at risk even if u are a "paying client" in class A ward.

#2. U seem to think that we, the serfs, have some say in this. Let's make a bet, if Khaw wins in the next election, U streak across Raffles Place at lunch time?

#3. U seem to think that throwing money at it can solve the problem. when we dun even have enuff doctors to begin with. Nevermind specialists. Oh wait , we dun even have enuff trained nurses.

#4. u even believe the medishield is any good. no. only ur employer's group insurance is any good. pls stay employed. even if it means wiping tables at MacDonald's.

#5. As per anon 1:41, who seems better informed than most of the rabble here. even the religious linked hospitals are handicapped.

There is simply no hope.

Anonymous said...

That's why there's a saying after mean testing being implemented:
"You can die in Singapore, but pls DO NOT get sick"

Anonymous said...

There is only one reason for this society getting very sick and worsening by the days.

The Leaders have no conscience !

patriot

Charles said...

there is a very high hidden taxation of over 30% for social security called CPF contributions, leave alone the other taxes
This is total bs and does not bring anything to the debate; the problem is that CPF is not a tax, it is a forced saving with a not so bad interest rate

Singapore needs to move HealthCare from CPF to IncomeTax:
- Healthcare requires to have the money and the risks pooled together; it is the only way
- it need to be on income tax because it is a progressive tax

The problem is that the PAP is against taxes and so are the Singaporeans

Anonymous said...

Anon 21:33 you bloody fool. Just because it is called CPF you cannot see that it is the same as income tax in developed countries that is used for social security.

You mean the income tax collected by those governments will be sitting there not any earning interest? Only a fool like you think like that.

Okay in the case of CPF the individual earns interests but can he take it out? Cannot right?

So what's the difference between CPF and income tax for social security?

The only difference is that income tax for social security is assured whereas your cpf savings is now not assured when you retire. The retirement kept moving forward by PAP now until 69.

You still don't get it right, pin-head?

Anonymous said...

"The problem is that the PAP is against taxes..." - Anon 21:33

Hahaha, good joke but which jungle cave have you been living in all this while?

Anonymous said...

Those who think that CPF is not a tax are fooled by the PAP govt.

ERP, COE and 4-D are are all indirect taxes.

But in developed countries, most of these taxes are earmarked for certain causes. But in Singapore, the monies collected from these taxes, I'll speculate here, had gone into GIC and Temasek. And we all know where has it gone to after that.

And yes, CPF, in some developed countries , are called Social Security Tax.

Charles said...

(I am not posting as Anonymous, like some)

CPF's MediSave does not pool the money/risks together; it is an individual scheme = not a tax

You want more proof that is it not a tax?
What would you say if I were to take your CPF to give it to someone who needs it more than you?

Well, maybe the PAP propaganda has something to do with this state of mind; they have said long enough that they were against healthcare;
Singapore enjoys lower direct tax than many countries; it enjoys a stream of money from real-estate sales, and it stratetic position in the global exchange of merchandises and services

Every Singaporean wants to eat the cake and have it
pay no tax, spend all his CPF for himself and get healthcare from the state

Anonymous said...

A fool that never learns even when fully explained.

Anonymous said...

Wow. another sobering post. Well done!

But i think the truth is that the power-may-be dont care.

Sad but true.....

Anonymous said...

•Never argue with crazy people, especially those that know everything yet only have a limited view of the world. The problem is they don't know they're crazy or know-it-alls.

•Ignorance and apathy are rampant in the insurance business. Ignorance can be fixed; apathy is fatal.

Boys and girls, I leave it up to you to decide whether this C is simply ignorant or apathetic!

Anonymous said...

Charles, charles, let me help you. It is not important what name you are known as. What is important is how logical your thoughts are.

Now you are right if you insist that the word CPF does'nt say it is tax. Alamak, that precisely what people here are trying to tell you that you got to see beyond that lah. Otherwise what insight have you provided? Nothing!

You could have argued that hey the CPF can be used to buy HDB flat. That's the difference between CPF and income tax!

And that might sound more intelligent. But even with that, wait a moment!

Lucky had already pointed out in a previous article that this policy is gonna do many Singaporeans in. The primary objective of the CPF as a social security program has thus been lost.

But then PAP does'nt seem to care anymore. In fact it has raised the prices of 4 and 5 room flats to roughly between $250K to $400K.

One would have to take a lifetime to pay up using his CPF and then what about his social security needs - emergency healthcare, support during unemployment and old age?

Hey don't tell me you are rich and it does'nt bother you. Then you are missing the point. This is a discussion about the nation not for you to brag how well-to-do you are. I don't think anyone cares about that.

Anonymous said...

WHY NO REAL SUBSIDIZED HEALTHCARE IN SINGAPORE

Short answer:
Eugenics

Long Answer:
PM Lee Kuan Yew: "Free education and subsidized housing [and by inference, subsidized health care] lead to a situation where the less economically productive people in the community are reproducing themselves at rates higher than the rest. This will increase the total population of less productive people"

More quotes on eugenics-in-Singapore here


Are you AWARE? If you are, you can do something about it! Then again, when it does not offer them, most people do not see anything! So, tell me, What do you (choose to) see?

Charles said...

Who forces you to use your CPF to buy overpriced HDB?
How much of the CPF is not yours?
What happens to your CPF when you die?
What are the lending rates a the moment and how much is the CPF giving you?

Social Taxes in other countries are completely different: you pay 30% of your salary and you get back nothing; they are more like an insurance

I know many people are stilled miffed that the gahmen is forcing them to save, and they they see this as a tax

But I will give it to you, so you can rest in peace

"The CPF is a forced saving tax"

Charles said...

So, now that this is settled, I come back to my comment:

If you want to have healthcare in Singapore, the risk and the resources must be pooled together

Are Singaporean ready to see a large part of their CPF bee pooled with other Singaporeans (they will not get it back)?

Anonymous said...

The big question is, are Singaporean willing to pay more taxes for universal healthcare? Charles is right to say, Singaporeans want their cakes and eat them too. Medisave in the present form will probably not work. Realistically, individual CPF savings cannot be stretched to cover housing, retirement and healthcare costs. If the average HDB is $450k, the majority of Singaporeans will have neglible CPF left to retire on let alone high medical expenses. Perhaps, it's better to pay 1-2% more in tax to fund healthcare than to rely on Medisave when we already know it will not work. I'm not hopeful that the government will allocate funding from it's expenditure budget to healthcare. Not for the masses anyway. On the other hand, I'm very worried that the additional tax collected will just be squandered in foolish investments by Temasek Holdings for egoistic purposes. Boils down to the point that I don't trust the government anymore. Something I never thought possible 10 years ago. Perhaps, I should stash away additional savings for my own future healthcare needs.

Anonymous said...

I think Anon 00:37 says it all already about Charles:

"•Never argue with crazy people, especially those that know everything yet only have a limited view of the world. The problem is they don't know they're crazy or know-it-alls."

Anonymous said...

@Lucky

Off Topic but u may be interested:

The land of the brave and free under Prez ""Change" Obama.

http://suddendebt.blogspot.com/2009/07/no-better-than-mafia.html

Anonymous said...

@Charles

The Purchasing Power (after tax) of the median Sinkee is probably ard the level of Portugal(in Lisbon). Maybe just below since our figures are inflated by those of PRs.

So we are not too bad. I mean Portugal ... european superpower lah.

Anonymous said...

The TRUTH about Healthcare is ... are millionaires like Lucky Tan willingly to pay more taxes to ensure the less fortunate have access to adequate healthcare?

Anonymous said...

It seems like some people here insist on diverting the topic to something that suits their vested interests.

Anonymous said...

Everyone has vested interest. It is good to hear what the people with different vested interests have to say. At the end of day, either we agree or agree to disagree. We are all responsible for our own actions. Taking no action is also a course of action.

LuckySingaporean said...

This thing about more taxes for universal heathcare....

Right now there is no need to resort to more taxes because the 'extra' from GST hike was something like $5B. Also, the allocation of spending on other areas defense, R&D, grand buildings, scholarship for foreigners etc. Getting our priorities right first on spending, will more than fix the cracks that I've brought up.

debunk chalres said...

>Social Taxes in other countries are completely different: you pay 30% of your salary and you get back nothing; they are more like an insurance

NONSENSE! In USA for example, only those millionaires pay 30% tax. The average middle-class pays 15%. And that's on paper before any tax relief/rebate/deduction. After deduction (especially child relief deduction), an average american family pays 10%!!!

There was a time when Singaporeans are not well-traveled. That's the time when Charles' predecessor can brain-wash Singaporeans easily.

But this is now 2009 where 150,000 Singaporeans live overseas! So, Charles, you gotta work harder than those Pappies a generation ago, if you want to brainwash us! LOL


Oh, btw, I was talking about income tax above which is used to pay for infrastructure, roads, railways etc. The american social security tax is 7.5% and it is NOT just an insurance - you get a monthly payout from retirement till death!!!


What a lousy brain-washer we have in pap nowadays. Or perhaps Charles is not a brain-washer coming here to brain-wash us, but rather, he was brain-washed - a victim of PAP's propaganda? lol

Anonymous said...

Healthcare is definitely not one of the priority items in the government expenditure. We do get good quality healthcare here but at a very high price. Even middle class Singaporeans will be wiped out financially if struck with serious illness. My fear is that the government taking the lead by being pragmatic and harsh will create the same uncaring society. In the end, this will be a terrible place to live in. Everyone for himself. All the talk about a caring society is just wishful thinking. Then again, what do expect from politicians.

Debunk Charles said...

>Who forces you to use your CPF to buy overpriced HDB?

Ans: PAP. Unless you regard homelessness as a viable alternate option.


>How much of the CPF is not yours?

Ans: 100%. If it were yours, you would be able to use it at any point in your life in any way you want, but you can't. Hence it is not yours.


>What happens to your CPF when you die?

It is passed on to your next-of-kins, thus proving that it is not yours since you were not able to use it BEFORE your death. In fact, many patients have complained for decades that they cannot use their CPF medisave on cancer treatment, AIDS treatment etc and because of that, they eventually died from lack of money for treatment even though they still have tens of thousands in their medisave after their death!


>What are the lending rates a the moment and how much is the CPF giving you?

This temporary loop-hole has been closed by PAP by its latest law to peg CPF rates eventually to govt bond.

Debunk Charles said...

"The CPF is a forced saving tax"

The CPF is a tax disguised as forced-savings. First, they force you to "save". Then they overprice HDB flats so that you have to use your "savings" to buy these flat. The NET result is that a large portion of what you "saved", ended up in their pocket. This is thus akin to paying them super-high tax.

Some brain-washed people cannot see through the scam. Poor thing.

Debunk Charles said...

- HDB flat overpriced.
- University tuition fee overpriced/not subsidised enough
- Medical cost overpriced/not subsidised enough.

Please pay for all of the above using the CPF money that you have been forced to "save"

Net result: You are paying very high tax! But they are not called tax. They are called "using your cpf savings to pay for (overpriced) HDB flat/ uni tuition fee/ medical fee"!!!


Charles, are you here to brain wash us, or are you yourself brain-washed?

Anonymous said...

"The big question is, are Singaporean willing to pay more taxes for universal healthcare?"


The big question is: why do we need to pay more tax for universal healthcare? All developed countries spend abt 10+% of their GDP on healthcare. Ours spend 4%. So they do not need to collect more tax; all they need is to increase the percentage from 4% to 10%!

Eg. I collect $100 from you, and give you back only $4. Now if you want $8, why must I now collect $200? All I need is to allocate another $4 from the initial $100. If all other developed countries can do that, why can't ours?

I answer the above question myself: 'cos a large part of our govt's income ended up in the reserves / Temasek / GIC / defence spending / govt salary ($40 million for the entire cabinet, according to Goh Chok Tong) etc instead of being channeled back to the people via health care / welfare expenditure!!!

Anonymous said...

Stupid Charlie Dumb and Dumber came here with half a brain and thought he was dumb smart. Everything he had said of any value was plagiarized from others right here on this comment page. And the rest that he had said only showed what a fool he was. He probably thought being able to write a bit makes him intelligent, heheh.

Now that he has been debunked he is probably telling his PAPa what a failed mission it was.

Charles said...

Yawn... so much hatred...

Of course the taxes would be increased for the higher income, not the lower ones (who misread me?)

The medium class Singaporean would also have to share with the lower income ones.
The higher income would have to share more.

Hence moving from CPF based medicare to Income Tax based => progressive taxation.

Charles said...

The big question is: why do we need to pay more tax for universal healthcare? All developed countries spend abt 10+% of their GDP on healthcare. Ours spend 4%. So they do not need to collect more tax; all they need is to increase the percentage from 4% to 10%!

Errrr....
What is you definition of GDP?

Where do you get the extra 6% from again?

Anonymous said...

Hello charlie chaplin, you would be better off as a comedian. Stop rambling away, the more you talk the more you show how silly you are.

Now you know only the top income people in the developed countries pay 30% plus in income tax. How's that compared to every earner in Singapore paying over 30% plus through CPF savings.

You still cannot see Singaporeans are paying more? It is very straightforward but you still cannot get it?

Why so dense????? Like that how to debate with others. Stop wasting your time lah.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, easy on Charlie.... yeah... We are here to discuss and persuade, not diss other ppl....

Once upon a time, I had the same qn's as charlie too. I know better now and hopefully with Charlie being brave enough to raise the issue, others will also learn. =)

LuckySingaporean said...

Guys, CPF is a heavily tweaked scheme. Not too sure if you can say it is equivalent to a tax...however, it will be taxing for SIngaporeans to retire using it....its complexity is so taxing to figure out...

CPF is a real 8 legged - don't know what scheme that the PAP modify year after year. It does not become better just more complex - locking up more of our money longer.

The one thing it certainly does not do is make sure Singaporeans can retire comfortably - the original primary purpose of CPF.

Anonymous said...

Although the CPF is a compulsory social security contribution similar in purpose as the higher income tax in other developed countries, there is one advantage should one emigrate. One can take out all his CPF savings and leave.

There is just one catch. Control-freakish PAP imposes this condition :

"If you are leaving Singapore and West Malaysia permanently with no intention of returning to either country for employment or residence ..." CPF Board

Someone who had emigrated suggested that one should just ignore this ridiculous condition; just take the money and come back if you like it. Well, I really don't know how good an advice this is.

In any case, PAP might eventually put a lifetime lock on CPF savings even if one is emigrating.

Remember this was what PAP had done to Malaysians who have worked here previously; they are "only able to withdraw their CPF savings at the age of 50 if they have not been working in the republic for the last two years." The Star

Anonymous said...

Let me add to this convoluted debate. For the middle class, the cpf is not a out right tax (It is still a god damn swindle but that is another issue) because u can use it for your housing reqirements/ equity investment.

However, for the very poor who cannot afford to buy a house and probably will not invest in equities, it is the equivilant of a 30+ % social security tax. Which is a god damn thing...

Anonymous said...

When Kwa Geok Choo got a stroke in Britain, a chartered SIA jet was dispatched to take her back for treatment. When Lee Hsien Loong had cancer, an oncologist was flown in several times from the US to treat him. All these were paid for by the taxpayers.

The healthcare plan for ministers, perm secs and judges guarantees access to treatment in the best hospitals in the world and consultancy with the best foreign specialists, again all paid for by the taxpayers.

Healthcare in Singapore is excellent, provided you are a relative or a crony of LKY.

Anonymous said...

"When Kwa Geok Choo got a stroke in Britain, a chartered SIA jet was dispatched to take her back for treatment. When Lee Hsien Loong had cancer, an oncologist was flown in several times from the US to treat him. All these were paid for by the taxpayers....."

arghhh!!!! this just make me damn angry why don't these blood suckers just die instead of the poor people in the hospitals!!

Gerald said...

Hi Lucky,

Excellent post. Where did you get your Figure 2? It's a very interesting. I would have never imagined that Singaporeans are paying a higher percentage than Americans.

LuckySingaporean said...

Gerald,

The chart is from:

http://business.theatlantic.com/Pi
cture%206.png

Not only that our govt healthcare expediture is among the lowest in the world as a % of GDP we are the only developed country where govt healthcare expediture as a % of GDP is that low. Lower than Nigeria!:

http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A
0934554.html

Our defense spending as a % of GDP is the 4th highest in the world.

Talk about trade-offs, our govt done an EXTREME trade off...by passing the cost of healthcare to the people and using the money for other areas.

Anonymous said...

"When Kwa Geok Choo got a stroke in Britain, a chartered SIA jet was dispatched to take her back for treatment."

What I heard from inside source is, LKY said he would personally pay for the cost of repatriating the his wife from London. Unfortunately, no one in SIA dared to send him the invoice since that would be a career ending move. Since he didn't receive the invoice he couldn't pay. Not his fault really, if you know what I mean.

Anonymous said...

"Talk about trade-offs, our govt done an EXTREME trade off...by passing the cost of healthcare to the people and using the money for other areas."

but is it a ...foolish move?

Anonymous said...

the real question you people should be asking is....if a poor man stricken with a fatal illness and walks into a hospital, would the hospital or our government turns the patient away because he has nothing?

Anonymous said...

--the real question you people should be asking is....if a poor man stricken with a fatal illness and walks into a hospital, would the hospital or our government turns the patient away because he has nothing?--

This is a useful excuse for the pap: nobody will be deprived of this and that, but at the end nobody knows how many have been deprived as it is impossible to count the number of people who can't get proper medical care, attend university, buy their flats, or get proper three meals. Their propably suffer in silence but we look around and there are evidence that such suffering exist everywhere.

Anonymous said...

easy: those who have been deprived..let them come out now ( or you reach out to them, seek them out - shouldn't be that difficult for a tiny country) and tell their stories( collect as many testimonies as evidence of neglect) to the opposition or the press otherwise....we assume the relevant authorities have fulfilled their obligations and promises.

shouldn't that silent the critics?

LuckySingaporean said...

anon 10:24,

The Singapore system not as heartless as the American one. In principle, no public hospital can turn a person away when he has no money. The payment for services and the treatment of patient is kept separate. People not getting treated in theory is not a problem with the system.

The problem is the cracks in the system and the ideology that shifting the financial burden to sick as much as possible is a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lucky,

What you just said is not exactly so simple hor.

Whether a person requires hospitalisation or not is dependent on the doctor's judgement. The doctor's decision in turn is determined by the management's, which in spite of being called "not-for-profit" restructured govt hospitals, has to ensure they do not make a loss. This is why they became privatised in the first place - to charge commercial rate, to make money.

Now for borderline or unclear cases, the doctor can simply tell the patient that he/she does not need hospitalization. Just give him/her some painkillers.

Okay here is a true case of a patient in C-class, a relative. There was no bed available so they left him in the corridor on a bed for hours. He wanted to urinate and needed help. He called the nurses repeatedly to help but they told him to wait, wait, wait.

He urinated in his pants. This is how things work there.

Another case also a relative. She fractured or even broke her leg due to a fall. They hospitalized her. Sounds good. Then they asked which doctor attended to her last time. She gave a name. They told her to wait as the doctor was away for holiday. She waited for a full week or more in suffering for her doctor to come home. She could not move around and was bedridden all the time. Unbelievable but true. I visited her and she related the story to me.

Many such stories I sure abound but passive Singaporeans just take it lying down. What a cosy job for PAP.

Like they say there are "many ways to skin a cat" ; unfortunately it's humans not cats.

Anonymous said...

The Singapore system not as heartless as the American one. In principle, no public hospital can turn a person away when he has no money. The payment for services and the treatment of patient is kept separate.

You are so naive.

http://talkback.stomp.com.sg/forums/showthread.php?t=48180

Anonymous said...

@Lucky

The Singapore system not as heartless as the American one?

Rubbish. One reason why the yankees spend so much is because the seriously ill un-insured cannot be turned away and the hospital have to try their bloody best (i.e lose money) ... or get sued. In Singapore, if they *think* it is pointless... (check with ur doc frens)

Anonymous said...

Oh wait ... I guess millionaires like the Lucky Tans are not quite familiar with how *wonderful* our public hospitals are.

btw another interesting article
http://gigomole.blogspot.com/2009/07/ethics-professionalism-and-medical.html

Anonymous said...

@Charles

Of course the taxes would be increased for the higher income, not the lower ones (who misread me?)

eh Sinkapoor is a tax heaven for the rich. taxes are always aimed at the middle-class. besides if even Lucky is not willing to pay more taxes, u think LKY would?

LuckySingaporean said...

anon 15:06,

SGH violated some fundamental principles. Someone should take this case to MOH as them if financial considerations now override patient treatment.

The hospital is suppose to treat you regardless of your ability to pay. You tackle the bills separate even if it kills you financially.

I'm shocked by the story in Stomp. However, I was once denied immediate specialist treatment unless I see the specialist as "a private patient" in a govt hospital. I refused and was given an appointment several weeks away - when I saw the specialist he told me it was useless to see him so late. I never knew they deny people who need an operation - that is just not right.

LuckySingaporean said...

anon 15:09,

When I get sick I go to a govt hospital. Because if it is serious and I get stuck at private hospital unable to get a transfer to public hospital whatever money I have will be insufficient for private hospital. 1 million ...easily gone.

My sis recently paid $25K for a minor op and 2 day stay at a private hospital-that is how expensive it is. She had taken up a solid insurance that covered private hospital stay...the premium is quite huge...closer to what the Americans pay for medical insurance.

Anonymous said...

Singapore's healthcare world's bestest:

http://www.singapore-window.org/sw03/031103to.htm

Within 48 hours, SIA had fitted out SQ321 with medical support of oxygen tanks and other fixtures for a drip.

"No other airline would have done this," Mr Lee said, looking visibly touched.

On board were also two Intensive Care nurses from Changi General Hospital, two doctors, as well as officials from SIA who made sure all the equipment worked.

"Everyone knows his job," said Mr Lee. "Within 12 to 13 hours, we'd reached Changi Airport. It was a big relief," he said. "Twelve to 13 hours. Your heart stops beating sometimes. We landed at Changi Airport. Great relief. I had my granddaughter (Li Xiuqi) with me. She is very fond of her grandmother. She was so relieved."

Mrs Lee was whisked off in an ambulance to Singapore General Hospital, where she is recovering.

Anonymous said...

Agree. Singapore's healthcare world's bestest. Just ask any member of the Myanmar military junta.

http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/SIN138922.htm

Myanmar junta leader Than Shwe has been receiving treatment at one of Singapore's top public hospitals, according to an embassy employee who declined to give details of the leader's medical condition. "He's at Singapore General Hospital," the employee, who declined to be identified, told Reuters on Friday.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/6474475.stm

Burma's Prime Minister Soe Win is being treated at a hospital in Singapore, an official from the Burmese embassy in the city-state said.

http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0WDQ/is_2003_March_17/ai_98838858/

Maung Aye, vice senior general and the second highest-ranking officer in Myanmar's junta, has been admitted to hospital in Singapore for treatment, a hospital source said Tuesday.

http://www.rebound88.net/01/oct/05.html

Myanmar's reclusive former dictator Ne Win, 90, is in serious condition at a Singapore hospital, sources close to the family said Thursday.

http://www.irrawaddy.org/article.php?art_id=7274

However, Thein Sein is not exactly the portrait of perfect health. He was fitted with a pacemaker last year—also at a hospital in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

Or ask LKY's other dictator buddy-buddy around the world. Singapore's hospitals specialize in treating dictators and their family and cronies, both local and foreign ones.

http://www.asiaone.com/News/AsiaOne%2BNews/Singapore/Story/A1Story20080527-67208.html

The president of Zimbabwe, Mr Robert Mugabe, flew to Singapore last week to undergo secret tests for prostate cancer, the Times Of London has reported.

Anonymous said...

Please read:

http://www.naturalnews.com/026723_health_vaccines_immune_system.html

Think carefully if you wants your love one to be vaccinated against un-tested vaccine.

Anonymous said...

what it means is that sg(the leaders) does not judge someone beyond its jurisdiction or get invovle in domestic politics of other countries. the patients( controversial leaders) are for their own people to judge.

Anonymous said...

basically, what the author is saying is that the gov emphasis on progress, self reliant and an open door policy to talents/mnc(wealth creators in particular and irrespective of where they are coming from) have made life harder( and increasingly difficult) for the average citizens - especially pertaining to health care and housing etc).

well, unless you can change the standard or quality of living by our visionaries, i don't see how you can ease the pressures to keep up with the fittest and the strongest.

put it this way, there is very little room for slackers, lazy people, irresponsible over spenders and uncaring basterds in this country.

is that so wrong if these people end up getting the raw end of the stick instead of free carrots

but for those who are just unlucky in life(though generally responsible), you may consider praying to the right gods?

Anonymous said...

@Lucky 16:59

If I could turn back time, I would gladly pay $25k. Or $250k. Or whatever for my loved ones.

Its a good thing that u are Lucky. U know u only have one life.
But u still dun get it do u?

Anonymous said...

@Anon 23:50

PAP policies benefits maybe 20% of the population. (Thats being generous)

U are absolutely correct.
Assuming the bottom 5% are scum, 75% of Sinkees are praying to the wrong God.

So could u help setup the Church of LKY?

Anonymous said...

anon above,
In answer to your question, it is wrong - and very disgusting too - to label ordinary hard-working Singaporeans who are forced to accept 3rd-world wages (due to PAP's policy of bringing in cheap foreign workers and its policy of not having a min wage system) and who are therefore unable to pay our 1st-world health care cost "slackers, lazy people, irresponsible over spenders and uncaring basterds"

You disgust me! To borrow your words, what an uncaring bastard you are!

Anonymous said...

sorry, I meant anon at 23:50 when I wrote "anon above".

Anonymous said...

@Anon 23:50

Who are the "talents and visionaries" you're thinking of?

The talents at GIC and Temasek who squandered billions and billions of the nation's wealth? Or the visionaries in the PAP government who are responsible for the numerous policy failures?

And who are the "slackers, lazy people, irresponsible over spenders"?

The blue collar workers who make an honest day living but aren't paid enough to subsist in Singapore? These are the people who need to make tough decisions like whether to pay for their kids' education or their parents' medical care. They "overspent" because they are underpaid.

Just because one is a PSC scholar on a superscale salary doesn't mean that he has contributed more to the society than a PSA dock clerk who makes $700 a month.

Anonymous said...

you guys are missing the pt here. part of the problems facing the people, especially those who have been left out in our fast paced society and lop sided reward system, is that they took the bait of the "good life" envisioned or presented by our leaders.

so the blame is not entirely our government fault. if you partake the "good life", there is no way the bottom/middle stratas of society is going to escape...

quoting lucky:

The problem is the cracks in the system and the ideology that shifting the financial burden to sick as much as possible is a good thing.

unquote.

....as well as:

hard-working Singaporeans who are forced to accept 3rd-world wages (due to PAP's policy of bringing in cheap foreign workers and its policy of not having a min wage system) and who are therefore unable to pay our 1st-world health care cost etc etc

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