Wednesday, September 08, 2010

TOC : Stop using the poor for your political agenda – Part Two

In TOC's latest article "Stop using the poor for your political agenda - Part Two"[Link], Leong Sze Hian wrote:

"In this connection, I refer to media reports (“Full house at Khoo Teck Puat Hospital” , ST, Jul 25) that the new Khoo Teck Puat Hospital has been full since it opened recently, and that the bed crunch has been so bad in the past couple of years that non-urgent surgery had to be put off, beds placed along corridors and hours spent waiting for an available bed.

According to the Department of Statistics’ Yearbook of Statistics 2010, the number of hospital beds in Singapore, has hardly changed – from 11,742 to 11,663, from 1999 to 2009.

The number of hospitals only increased by one, from 28 to 29.

During the same 10-year period, the population grew from 3.96 to 4.99 million.

Although the Health Mnistry has said that Singapore will not be caught out by a shortage of hospital beds again, even with the net increase of about 400 beds after the expected opening of the 700-bed Jurong General Hospital before 2015, and the closure of the 300-bed Alexandra Hospital, the total number of hospital beds is only expected to be about 12,613, even after adding the 550 beds from Khoo Teck Puat Hospital.

If not for allowing Medisave to be used for hospitalisation in 12 approved hospitals in Malaysia, since March this year, the shortage of hospital beds may be even worse."

It turned out I wrote something about shift of capacity from public to private hospital and how the govt's plan to be a medical hub for the rich has driven up medical cost much faster than the rise in wages. The govt then implemented means testing to shift the rising cost to Singaporeans to keep its own expenditure down. The article I wrote, together with another in TOC by Leong Sze Hian became material for a Social Studies Revision Guide for Sec 4 to test students on critical thinking. Now some secondary school students will know how to call the govt's bluff on medical care in Singapore.

In an earlier edition of this study guide, Source C was an article from the Straits Times about overcrowding in public hospitals and spare capacity in private hospital and how means testing will push patients from public to private hospitals by eliminating their subsidy. In the latest edition Source C is an SMA article which is more supportive of the govt's argument - people who can afford to pay should not be getting subsidies.

The revision guide also used material from other blogs such as Yawning Bread in a number of critical thinking tests. The author probably figured out you get one side of the story from mainstream media and the other side from the Internet....for critical thinking to take place you need to look at both sides.


Anonymous said...

Not all things have 2 sided stories. Some of the things, in fact, most of the things have many sided stories. If you read the mainstream media, you get one out of many sided stories.
What should you do?
You have to read from many different sources.

Anonymous said...

Another case of poor planning and lack of foresight. Typical PAP.

Anonymous said...

There is a suggestion to invite 10% of current Singapore PRs to take up Singapore Citizenship and if they refuse to take up Singapore Citizenship, their Singapore PRs status will be revoked.

As expected, a large majority of Singapore PRs are against this idea.
This obviously shows that foreigners who come to Singapore to take up Singapore PR status only want to enjoy all the benefits privileged to Singapore PRs while continuing to enjoy the benefits of keeping their foreign citizenship.
These Singapore PRs who refuse to take up Singapore Citizenship are like "double head snakes".
If Singapore PRs do not take up Singapore Citizenship after enjoying 5 years of "double head snakes" benefits in Singapore and foreign countries they were from, their Singapore PRs status must be revoked.

lim said...

Seriously, who is the right mind would want to become singapore citizen, except for those who doesn't have a choice since they are born singaporeans..

The prs know that under current pap, they are enjoying the best of both worlds, especially for those from 3rd world countries.. They just need to work for x number of years, accumulate savings and then plan for retirement back in their home countries. Once they become citizens, then they can forget about retirement back home (or more hassle, since their houses have to be transferred to relative's names, etc)..

Basically, singaporeans are on the losing end under pap..

Anonymous said...

The study guide spelt "Diary" as "Dairy". :b

Anonymous said...

Education and Healthcare are the two things governments hate investing in...due to lack of short term returns. Here in Australia, we also have the problem of hospital overcrowding, cancellation of elective surgery.
As long as governments are interested in overnight population growth, existing infrastructure will always be overstretched if growth in hospital beds can't match net immigration and the birthrate.

Anonymous said...

As PRs are treated more valuable than citizens (PRs have seen how citizens are treated more inferior than PRs), and in order not to anger these PRs,
the revoke of PR status of those PRs who refuse to take up Singapore citizenship will never be implemented.

Alpha male said...

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Anonymous said...

Quote from Anonymous 8/9/10 10:12
As expected, a large majority of Singapore PRs are against this idea.
This obviously shows that foreigners who come to Singapore to take up Singapore PR status only want to enjoy all the benefits privileged to Singapore PRs while continuing to enjoy the benefits of keeping their foreign citizenship.

PAPies are really stupid --- they are damn worried about the true feelings of citizens and scared what the outcome of GE will be. Hence PAPies are super kan-cheong and coming up with all sorts of knee-jerk policies that is quite retarded.

E.g. HDB & property measures which penalise citizens more than foreigners. Seriously who can really check whether foreigners own properties overseas or not? Some foreigners own properties in 3-4 countries, not necessarily his own country. How to check?!?

And now this ridiculous PR-to-citizen policy. In the first place, the solution is to make a BIG difference in the privileges between PR and citizen. Such as cannot buy HDB, no subsidies for MOE education, no subsidies for govt hospitals. This will make it similar to PRs of other countries.

All along, getting PR is only 2nd priority for foreigners. The 1st priority for foreigners to come to S'pore is to earn high salary and make big bucks. Getting a PR status is 2nd priority, and taken advantage by foreigners with children or those who want to speculate in HDB.

So the solution is to remove Singapore citizen privileges from PR. Then the foreigners got nothing to say. If they not happy, Singapore can tell them to go home, or they can apply for Oz PR or US PR or UK PR. All these other country PR also got very very little citizen privileges.

Anonymous said...

To be fair, PRs in other countries enjoy similar benefits as PRs in singapore.

The main difference is, other countries take care of their citizens welfare. So the unhappiness towards immigrants is reduced.

The problem here in singapore is obvious. But somehow the blame is shifted to PRs and not policies. Don't know why ??

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Anonymous said...

To Jessie Lee,

buzz off....

This is not the place to advertise, idiot.

Anonymous said...

Yes, dun be a pest Jessie.

Anonymous said...

by having everything overcrowding means they can charge higher prices...

Amused said...

In most countries, one applies to become a citizen. Is Singapore proactively offering citizenships to non-citizens? This is getting weird.

Richard said...

Singapore society is not in a good state. Behind the fanciful facade lies a simmering social tension that is just waiting to boil over.

It would be nice if we can do a poll of Singaporeans (on the streets, in the heartlands etc) on whether they think that Singapore is heading in the right direction, as well as if they are optimistic about the future of our country.

There will always be Singaporeans, who will continue to support the PAP, as long as their own welfare is well taken care of. The plight of the less well-off Singaporeans are, to them, "just facts of life". The PAP plays on and encourages such sentiments.

If things are not going well for the PAP, they would, in a knee-jerk fashion, point to other countries (be it other developing or developed countries) and say, "at least we ain't THAT bad", hoping that Singaporeans will feel "grateful" after seeing such comparisons. The compliant local media will also come up with reports of how things are much worse elsewhere to drive home the message.

I'm not sure how long this can go on. If the ruling party continues to think that past performance is an indicator of future results, they are truly self-deluded. Sadly, the PAP has now become a parody of its former self, taking knee-jerk reactions to problems highlighted by Singaporeans, without clearly thinking through the consequences of these half-baked measures (as seen in recent events).

Singapore is not the PAP. Singaporeans deserve better leadership than the current batch, who have evidently failed their own countrymen.

Anonymous said...

Another thing about PR status...In developed countries, it is very difficult to get PR status.

In Singapore, you can apply for PR after six months stay. 2 out of 3 applications are approved. That is very high.

In other developed countries, PR application is tedious and often the entire process takes a relatively long time.

My own logical reasoning for such tediousness is because of all the concerns as highlighted by all the people here before. Heck, I heard that even in China, it is not easy to get PR or citizenship.

With all their talents and brilliant minds, I am quite sure they would have consider the pros and cos of such a liberal immigration policy or some other aspects have clouded their objectivity. Maybe they did not any feasibility study or cost benefit analysis whenever they embark on introducing new policies. Maybe we spend millions of dollars of each of them for their gut feel!

Anonymous said...

i have to agree Singapore give out PR status like free. i have 2 friends from China studying in the same class as me. both studied here for about 5 or 6 years already. my girl friend applied last year fir PR and got it.

my guy friend didn't apply though he got a letter to tell him to apply. when i heard this, i was quite shocked. PR here so easy to get? government even send letter encouraging you to apply.