Friday, September 24, 2010

Treat people well in their time of need....

I would like to bring your attention to this heart warming story about a volunteer in the Canadian YOG team who suffered a heart attack in Singapore. The 68 year old Canadian suffered a heart attack in Singapore while walking down a flight of stairs. He had to undergo open heart surgery at NUH's Heart Centre but has since recovered and will be going home to Vancouver next month.

"His medical expenses and lodgings will be paid for by the Singapore YOG Games Organising Committee.

I'm very grateful to the people of Singapore for taking care of me."
- Straits Times 24 Sep 2010.

I'm glad the govt did the right thing by paying for his medical expenses so that he can concentrate on getting well and not worry about being means tested and having to shoulder the burden of medical treatment in Singapore. He wasn't told by our govt, like they often tell Singaporeans, that he is financially responsible for his own health and sickness. As a Canadian he receives free universal medical care back home and would be unfamiliar with a healthcare system that pushes as much financial burden to the sick and their family as possible to keep govt expenditure down. Mr. Milan Fischer will go home with a very good impression of Singapore not because the system treated him like they would a Singaporean but because the system treated him differently from how it would treat a Singaporean....

The govt approach to healthcare is to make Singaporeans shoulder as much of the healthcare burden as possible. For this reason, ordinary Singaporeans shoulder the highest % of total healthcare expenditure vs govt expenditure among developed countries.
At the same time, the govt tries to make Singapore a medical hub for the rich causing a large portion of our healthcare capacity to be privatized and cost to increase. Because the rising cost is passed on to Singaporeans, there is limited incentive for the govt to keep healthcare cost down. Singaporeans are now asked to buy insurance from for-profit insurance companies and now part of our healthcare expenditure goes towards the profits of these companies. These policies are becoming increasing complex and when you get sick, you cannot be sure that you're covered (Read this story about a woman who pays $600 a month on insurance only to find she wasn't covered :[Link]). Hundreds of thousands of Singaporeans do not even have insurance and cannot afford to get sick. Singaporeans will be grateful if they are treated like Mr. Fischer in their time of greatest need....when they are seriously ill, they should be able to concentrate on getting well and not worry about the financial burden imposed on them by the govt when they are sick.

37 comments: said...

All the English speaking elites are scions of running dogs of whites during the colonial era, and Japs during the occupation. They are the most debased member of our society.

These folks who despise their own culture shape the youth Singapore in their own image.

You are always there to trample their own folks while bootlicking the ang mohs.

Anonymous said...

They(ang mohs) were mostly Christians or came from christianized nations.

Anonymous said...

this is so sickening! but it is nothing new: PAP always treats foreigners way better than it treats citizens.

what is new is the level of audacity of PAP: it dares to boast that it gives foreigners FOC medical treatment but not singaporeans.

By the way, Singaporean YOG volunteers:

now we know why you have to eat dog food, because most of the ops budget is channelled to this foreigner's medical treatment.

i'll bet even his stay at the hotel is paid by our tax dollars

Anonymous said...

I sincerely pray that PAP would treat its subjects(citizens)half as good as they treated this nice Canadian couple,of course Canadians seem to have a natural affinition with PAP,judging from the many letters in the press scolding Singapore citizens as well as praising PAP to sky high.

What can we do,I will pray Ma-ra-na-tha,and hope for the best,I do believe in divine power.Amen

Anonymous said...

Pro Alien Party has all along drummed the message of "You die your business" into our heads since 1965.

Now, in addition to the above message, they are also telling us "You die faster better, can import more foreigners".

In Singapore, the pro-big-business complex and the pro-MNC complex are well established. The insurance-cum-govt cahoots have been established since 2000, but this is something new to most people.

I worked for couple years in a well known local insurance company. The standard operating procedure when we recieved an insurance claim is to investigate and look out for anything and any excuse that we can deny the claim. Makes good business sense and is best practice in insurance industry.

Insurance companies are authorised to dig up all your most personal and confidential medical records from hospitals, medical centres, polyclinics and GPs. Just spend a bit of money for the reports. So we know if you got psychiatric history at Woodbridge, or went to polyclinic for STD etc. The bigger your medical insurance claim, the more they will dig. The irony is that if you buy the expensive medical insurance, for sure they will investigate like siao when you claim, becoz you will have stayed in expensive private hospitals. If you go to Mt Elizabeth for open heart surgery and the bill is $200K, rest assured the insurance company will spend some money to dig out all your medical records from the time you born.

During my 2 years in the insurance company, I had to reject medical claims from some 10-12 people coz of some pre-existing condition. Some of the customers didn't even know they had pre-existing as they didn't feel anything. Most of them bought insurance plans for A-Class wards or private hospitals, and they kenna whacked with huge medical bills that we refused to accept.

Anonymous said...

There were some YOG Local Volunteers who suffered from food poisonings, were they sent for treatments?


who paid for their treatments ?

This is the Second Time me am seeking the Answer in Cyberspace. No response or information was received on the First Attempt.


Anonymous said...

Below is excerpts of above letter published in ST Forum

Aug 26, 2010
Why they helped on own time and money

....So, naturally, over these past two weeks, I was a YOG volunteer, and this role is even more important for this reason. As Olympic chief Jacques Rogge said, 'being a champion is much more than just winning'. It is about values like serving the community, being gracious hosts, and being able to give without requiring an immediate return. Such values could do with a boost in Singapore - and I include myself as a permanent resident, married to a Singaporean, living here for the past eight years.

Several Forum letters and reports have criticised the YOG for the wrong reasons - like the quality of food provided or traffic inconvenience. The YOG is a big, positive deal. It is more than just about sports.

....Count as well the brigade of international volunteers like Alex, a Russian who took leave to be a translator. Or 68-year-old civil engineer from Canada, Mr Milan Fischer who signed up with his wife to volunteer as supporters - of Singapore, for no other reason than to uphold the Olympic spirit.

Many of these folk flew in on their own time and money to help out.

I agree with Mr Fischer, who thinks the YOG is an even more important idea than the senior Olympics because it offers a greater chance to educate, influence and mould young athletes in a positive way about friendship, excellence and respect.

Uwe H. Kaufmann

Anonymous said...

Australia gov do not fully fund for the healthcare system. It is the tax levy system called medicare. Each person is taken 1.5% from total income to fund the medicare. The levy will hit 2.5% when salary hit 75k/yr for individual and 150k/yr for family income. This is additional levy charge on the top of income tax. On top of this, all has income people are not entitle for concession on medication. They have to pay out of own pocket for own medicine cost.

Problem in Spore is, whether those high income group are willing to sacrifice for such levy tax system.

Anonymous said...

To All:

Let's discuss this issue. Suppose the YOG volunteer is not Canadian who experienced a heart attack.

Canadian = Medical expenses, lodgings paid for by Singapore YOG Organising Committee.

Singaporean = Paid out personally.

Sri Lankan = Same as Canadian

Haiti = Same as Canadian

Malaysian = Same as Canadian

Am I right?

Clear eyed said...

In Singapore there are 2 distinct worlds - first world and third world.

For the leaders, their cronies, the rich and the favoured foreigners, it is 1st world Swiss standard of living here. For the rest, it is the struggle and grind of the 3rd world. 1st world pay and treatment for some as against 3rd world poverty and existence for the rest. The world sees only the gleaming 1st world facade of the physical infrastructure here and that's why words like "affluent" and "economic miracle" are always used to describe us. The outside world does not see the old lady who walks holding onto furniture cleaning the office where foreigners sit at desks in front of computers, the old man hobbling on bow legs to clean the hospital where rich foreigners, many of them younger and in physically better shape than him, seek medical treatment, or the army of old and increasingly not so old scouring the garbage bins for recyclables to sell for money to buy food.

Such scenes, so common here, are a blight on our society and a testament on the type of people who run this country. It makes my blood boil to see these leaders smugly acknowledge the praises of the world and help themselves to even fatter pay.

We have to vote for change at the coming election. This is the best thing we can do to help these helpless elderly folks.

Anonymous said...

The more I read these comments(after sometime, it becomes repetitious and don't really read lol), the more I want to vote for PAP( because they are so dumb).lol.

To think that I WAS

Anonymous said...

Anon 17:40

I won't be surprised if you do.

Like them, you are deaf to comments, and even if they are repetititive.

Anonymous said...

Anon 17.40

Until I read your comment, I never laughed so good. Wait until you're whacked with huge medical bill just because you're a Singaporean. Or maybe you're not? No wonder you lol so much. All medical treatment free of charge but Singaporean back bent double carrying your free treatment.

Singaporean in London said...

Hi Lucky,

Sorry to spoil the party here. I see that UK ranks the best in your chart so I thought that I should give my two cents worth.

Firstly, you are assuming that the level of healthcare is the same as in UK and Singapore. I can assure you that it's not true.

UK healthcare isn't free

Let's be honest, healthcare isn't free in the UK, a sizable portion of our paycheck goes into paying for the NHS (National Health Service) and that's regardless of whether you use it eventually.

While you could head to a GP in S'pore for common ailments (fever, cough, flu etc.), you'll have to make an appt in NHS to see a GP. Depending on the area you live in, it can take up to two weeks. That's why Brits call it a 'postal lottery'.

Else you can head to the 'private' GP, which cost £60 (ard S$120) for the first 15min of consultation and extra costs every minute thereafter. That doesn't come with medicine. You'll have to pay extra for that at the pharmacy.

Standards just can't match up

Stories of midwives and medics leaving patients bleeding in their beds are not unheard of here in the UK (at least in the London hospitals). The level of hygeine can be so bad that inspectors are shocked in a recent review. The elderly are left to fend for themselves and many were starving and dehydrated due to staff shortage and incompetency.

Of course, there are instances of competent staff and clean hospitals. Then again, should that be the case in the first place?

As a result, many who can afford it head to private hospitals, which can cost a small fortune. Of course, that's on top of the NHS contribution that they have already made through their paycheck.

then again...

However, I must admit that the NHS does take care of those who can't afford any healthcare otherwise. That comes with a price of course - the rest who can afford to will have to pay over and above what they will eventually use, that's if they use NHS in the first place.

Not only that, emergency free healthcare is also available for every foreigner (tourists etc) in NHS if they happen to be in the UK. As a tax payer, I have absolutely no issue with that personally as I think that everyone should be entitled to emergency care, so long that it's not being abused.

the million dollar question...

Question: would you be willing to fork out up to 40% of your salary so that every Singaporean receives free healthcare?

Anonymous said...

One man is a story

Ours is only a statistic.

Very worthwhile worth every penny spent) as he will go back and sing endlessly the virtue of the Singapore system.

Alas that is the way the world works.

Lucky Tan said...

anon 19:11,

What worries me is we are heading the way of the Americans. The govt is trying to push the middleclass out of the public healthcare system to private healthcare...and the use of private insurance - complex, and highly varied. This together with the aspirations to be a medical hub for the rich means we are prone to cost spirals.

UK ran a system which WAS very good then became less inefficient as with many other things in the UK. There are better examples for universal healthcare such as the French, Norweigian, systems etc.

You cannot look at a healthcare system in isolation from the economic system. The Singapore system is a "shoulder your own burden" system superimposed on a society with the biggest income gap among developed countries. The sick shoulder their own burden and the system is not universal. This main problem is this amplifies the effects of income inequality in our system. You are poor and life is made worse by not having access to good universal healthcare. With means testing the problem moved up to the middle class who now have to shoulder a bigger burden as medical cost rises faster than income.

The Taiwanese have a universal system where people pay 5% of their income (state pays for the poor) for healthcare which is progressive (i.e. rich pay more). Although today the Straits Times has a long negative article of isolated examples of abuses of the system, it has worked well for many years and they will adjust it to fix its problems.

The Singapore healthcare system amplifies effects the income inequality and the sick and their families shoulder very heavy burden. said...

Re Singaporean in London said

would you be willing to fork out up to 40% of your salary so that every Singaporean receives free healthcare?

Are you sure that people in developed countries paid 40% tax JUST to fund public healthcare?

You must to an idiot or you must be lying outright. Developed countries that levy tax of 30% and above to fund many more things like unemployment benefit, free food coupon for jobless people, free universities, 2 years maternity leave with salary, healthcare...etc

Singapore de facto tax for middle class is already much more than 40%, if we factor in that GLCs all plundering by means utilities hike, $500 000 99 years HDB that sucks 1/3 or more from a pair of working couple....etc.


Anonymous said...

I have no doubt that if Mr. Fischer were a Singaporean and also YOG volunteer, he would be similarly treated like the Canadian.

What makes you all think that a Singaporean and YOG volunteer will not be similarly treated if he were in Fisher's situation?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 17:40

You rea,and fr antip-PAP,you decided to vote for PAP,the only reason beacuse you are convinced that PAP is dumb

Now who is the dumb one?LOL,you just proved as well that indeed PAP is dumb

You should go study some logic,probably fr top lawyer MM LKY if you are there and he sees you,may be,probably but unlikely.

Anonymous said...

Please, we all know Sing gahmen likes to look good on the outside.

paul said...

hey, grow up. if you want to make a difference for Singapore, do something real. if not, all these stuff you write is just intellectual masturbation. Just thought you shuld know that some of us Singaporeans are not agreeable idiots who give a damn about self-righteousness.

Anonymous said...

Yalor Singaporeans should be treated by this foreigner so that migration to other countries will not be on our minds and hearts. Listen the PAP government!

DanielXX said...


Suggestion for next story:

Minister says sorry for wrongful printing of YOG certficates


cheerfully explains off why budget exploded by $300M as a sincere mistake

Anonymous said...

It is better to teach people to fish then to give them fish. But some people just don't want to fish or find fishing a chore. To these people, we may have to withdraw the fishes and force them to use the rod.
Yet, some insist on stroking the rod instead of using the rod for its intended purpose.

Anonymous said...

anon 20:12

"What makes you all think that a Singaporean and YOG volunteer will not be similarly treated if he were in Fisher's situation?"

hmmmm... let me see, the dog food???

btw, can you also ask your boss aka vivian if the SG volunteers who were down with diarrhoea had FREE medical treatment???

Anonymous said...

PAP maybe dumb. But opposition, dumber.
In fact, dumpling dumber. LOL

Anonymous said...


HaHa,pl add

Unfortunately honourable minister added them so far still not very certain how did the S$80 milloins are classified under miscelleous!

Anonymous said...

You got it all wrong. Your title should read:

Treat people well according to your need.

Anonymous said...

wow. signs are emerging.tharman in today's ST confirmed what I have been saying. PAP not that stupid after all.
in the forum page, readers thumped gerald giarm democratic political model - as I hv expected.

what's next?

no more PAP?


Anonymous said...

"What makes you all think that a Singaporean and YOG volunteer will not be similarly treated if he were in Fisher's situation?
Anon 20:12"

Because many of us who are citizens or have gone through NS have encountered the following experiences:

1) Many of us had to take study loans for our university fees even though we did very well in A-levels or Poly.

On the other hand, we gave out scholarships to Indian and PRC nationals by the truckload.

2) Government has a habit of making citizens foot the bill for everything. We are told to sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice for the greater good.

Never seen a PAP leader ever do so.

Many of us sacrificed in some way or another

1) Accepted a wage stucture that allows for quick pay cuts and slow pay restoration

2) Endured long working hours and low pay without striking

3) Accepted CPF system instead of pension. Ironically, all PAP ministers are on pension scheme instead of CPF.

4) Some of us lost our homes due to the Land Acquisition Act. Govt used the law to take our homes and pay us way way below market value for our homes.

Have you ever seen the govt use Land Acquisition Act on themselves to acquire their homes on Oxley Drive or Bukit Timah area?

So, don't talk kok about national developement when they never have to sacrifice their own homes.

Singapore govt foot the hospital bill for its volunteers? Wait long long!!

You just be grateful that they don't ask you to sacrfiice more of yourself!

Wee said...

the million dollar question...

Question: would you be willing to fork out up to 40% of your salary so that every Singaporean receives free healthcare?

In response to the above question, I'm willing to fork out up to 40% of the salary. I'm also cock sure that will increase the minimun salary of singaporean. I'm also cock sure that will increase faster then the inflation rate within two year.

I wonder you know why fork out the 40% will increase minimun salary? Just play basketball and hopefully you will understand one day.

为民除害 said...

That's why this Mid Autumn Festival, you should ponder hard hard, as you devour those mooncakes (which, in ancient times, contain a message within to drive out the mongolians invaders "八月中秋杀鞑子")

Anonymous said...

I manufacture delicious mooncake in my throne room, you want?

Anonymous said...

I hear you.

Our most esteemed government has always known to uphold truth, accountability and integrity in social affairs.

And who better exemplified such lofty ideals if not our holy churches?

So when the church boldly proclaims a God that will reward those who trust them, there is no reason why the people should not believe in their golden message of hope and deliverance since our highly esteemed government has given them their stamp of approval, right?

With that in mind, those who struggle daily and financially can now TRUST the church with 10% of their earnings so God can take their seed faith and multiply it 100 times more. if not, bless them in many other ways so they can live worried free lives.

For instance: Our underclass earning $600 a month can now tithe $60 of their income to these rich churches.

And according to the church that whoever trust them or God, and who else trust them more than our government who have awarded them the privilege license to operate,God will responds in kind and abundantly so the poor or rich, will have NO LACK!!

Amen and amen.

Now Lucky, and all our concern oppositions and fellow singaporeans, can sleep better knowing that, 10% of the lower incomer's income can potentially earn them 100 fold returns if not, a WORRIED FREE life by the grace,love and generosity of father God.

If God is for you, who can be against you right?


Anonymous said...


I keep hearing on USA radio program such as "KCRW's Left, Right & center" that USA's health care spending is about 17% of GDP. The average for most developed nations is 11%. Singapore is an amazing only 4% of GDP! They actually aspire to be like Singapore.

The Singapore government must have forgotten to mentioned to the outside world that we Singaporeans have to pay for our own health care (including the health care of our parents and kids) with our own money... using medisave.

In time of need, we are being subject to "demeaning" mean testing even though we have been a responsible, hardworking and a contributing member of society, taking good care of the family throughout our life, never giving any trouble to society... and when in time of need, the government says that you will get a lesser amount of subsidy, just because you are above the "mean". Alternatively, you can always seek cheaper medical treatment in Malaysia.

Something just does not make sense... in a meritocratic society, why are we being penalized for our hard work and being responsible???!!!

Anonymous said...

Just few days ago, there was a report that says the % of foreigners in SG earning more than $265k per year is 45%. This is the highest in the world. A stark contrast is the median income for Singaporeans is a meagre S$2,400 per month (or $28,000 per year) - 1/10 of the income of the foreigners here. So the lifestyle of an average Singaporean family can never be compared to the expats.

So, first world for foreigners. Third World for Singaporeans. The class divide is glaring. It is no wonder why these foreigners cannot understand what Singaporeans are unhappy about. With an income 10 times that of an average Singaporean and treated like king with free medical (like this Canadian chap), they will assume Singaporeans will be treated better like their home countries. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth.

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