Healthcare: How PAP has Betrayed Singaporeans

The Singapore General Election will be held on 11 September 2015.

Has the current ruling party, the People’s Action Party (PAP), done its job or has it hurt Singaporeans instead?

Over the next two weeks, I will be compiling the past articles that I have written into the different thematic areas, so that you can see for yourselves if the PAP has helped Singaporeans or if it has actually make lives more difficult for Singaporeans.

In today’s article, the focus is on HEALTHCARE.

You can click on the red headers below to read more of each of the articles.

(1) It’s Time The Government Spends (A Lot) More For Singaporeans’ Health

Slide7

Already, the burden on Singaporeans to pay for our own healthcare is very heavy. There has been instances where because patients were not able to pay their medical bills, they had to sell their homes to pay for the bills, only to lose their homes and end up in welfare homes and shelters. Similarly, many Singaporeans have had to postpone seeking medical treatment because they couldn’t afford medical care, only to end up having their health condition worsen and developing chronic illnesses, which created an even heavier burden on their incomes.

In order to be able to pay for their medical bills, Singaporeans would need to purchase private medical insurance, in order to be more adequately covered. Indeed, the Ministry of Health had also said that, “many middle and higher income Singaporeans have also supplemented their basic coverage with integrated private insurance policies (“Integrated Shield plans”) for treatment in the private sector.” However, because private insurance is very expensive, especially as one ages, only “60 per cent of residents here (who are able to afford to do so) have opted for this higher coverage“.

What this means is that 40% of Singaporeans do not thus have adequate financial protection for health in Singapore.

According to the World Health Organisation, out-of-pocket expenditure which is more than 50% – Singapore is at 69% – will create a health system that is “extremely inequitable” and where there is a “high prevalence of poverty due to catastrophic health expenditure”.

Read more here.

(2) Singapore Is Not Training Enough Doctors For Our Healthcare System

Slide2 (1)

Thus it is sufficiently clear that the reason why there are a shortage of doctors in Singapore is because of the low enrollment of medical students into our universities. The question to ask is, why has the PAP government severely under-projected the number of doctors and medical students sorely needed in Singapore’s healthcare system?

Already, we are hearing of stories where because there are not enough doctors and healthcare facilities, that there have been cases where people would have to wait for months before they are able to make an appointment, or to wait at the Accident & Emergency department for many hours before they are attended to. There have also been cases where patients have died and where their families have attributed it to the lack of care at the hospitals. Or when doctors have been so busy that the care was forced to be slipshod, such that patients had been wrongly diagnosed, or that not enough care was given and patients had to returned to the hospital.

But this is only the tip of the iceberg. There have been many cases where people have to sell their homes to pay for healthcare. There have also been many unreported cases where patients choose to postpone care because they are too poor to seek medical assistance, and end up developing chronic illnesses, which require even more expensive care and treatment.

But why does all this have to happen?

Because the PAP government spends the lowest on health, as compared to the other high-income countries.

Read more here.

(3) Singaporeans, The Truth About Our Healthcare Financing, Retirement Funds and Money All Revealed! (Part 1)

photo 1 (5)

We are one of the richest countries in the world. Yet, our government spends the least on its people and even though on paper, we have one of the lowest per capita expenditure on healthcare, we are forced to fork out, out of our pockets, the highest amount among the other countries to pay for our own healthcare bills. So, even though initially, it looks like healthcare is affordable in Singapore (before we breakdown the bills), is it really?

Do you know why the per capita expenditure on healthcare is low? This is because the government wants to keep healthcare prices relatively low in Singapore to grow Singapore as a medical tourism destination. However, while we keep costs low for the rich who can afford to travel to Singapore for healthcare, our own people are then forced to take on the burden of shouldering the increasing healthcare costs in Singapore – are we subsidising the healthcare costs of the rich medical tourists?

Amidst all these, where is the government? It has conveniently thrown our market open to attract more tourists to earn from them – ‘Your Singapore(ans)’ are so “shiok” to take advantage of, and whilst they keep the money earned, very little comes back to us.

Why are we made to shoulder the burden, while the government cuts its support for Singaporeans, at the expense of rich tourists?

Read more here.

(4) Singaporeans, The Truth About Our Healthcare Financing, Retirement Funds and Money All Revealed! (Part 2)

photo 5 (1)

Can our elderly afford to see the doctor? You saw in the charts above that if you need to see the doctor, you have to fork out a lot of money – more than our peers in the other developed countries. And if you were to see a doctor at any clinic, you hardly receive any support.

Do you think our elderly can afford to see the doctor? When we hear of stories of how many elderly choose to fall sick and not see a doctor, until they absolutely have to, is there much truth to it? I think there is.

Our per capita expenditure may be low, but is it because many of our poor and elderly are not accessing care because they cannot afford to and have chosen not to seek care and treatment? Unfortunately, I do not have the statistics.

To give you more information, do you know that among our elderly, many of them work in jobs that we would classify as “blue-collar” jobs? Is this how we treat our elderly?

Read more here.

(5) Falling Sick, And Knowing Where Our Money For Health Is Going To

As I laid in bed, these thoughts ran through my mind. Now that I am unemployed, I’m placed in a situation that has allowed me to look at things from another perspective.

Whether or not to see a doctor is no longer such a straightforward decision as to just walk down to the clinic or take a taxi to the hospital. All these cost money. And if you are not paid adequately in wages, and healthcare is not adequately subsidised, then all these decisions have to be very carefully and tediously considered.

It is no wonder that we hear of stories of many Singaporeans who have chosen to forgo seeing the doctor, and had to remain sick. It is no wonder that many Singaporeans have chosen to die instead of seek medical help. Some families have also resorted to selling their homes so that they could seek medical help.

I can’t help to ask – is this something that should happen in Singapore, when we are today one of the richest countries in the world, and have the highest concentration of millionaires in Singapore? We might be proud that we are a rich country but where the poverty is estimated to be as high as 26% in Singapore, this seems almost inhumane.

Today, the Singapore government subsidises only about 30% of total health expenditure. Other countries of similar wealth spend about 85%, so their citizens are adequately covered. Also, companies in Singapore are made to shoulder a heavy burden of the medical costs through purchasing health insurance for their employees. But for low-wage workers, such insurance doesn’t always happen. And thus low-income Singaporeans have to bite the bullet instead of go to a doctor and have to stay in bad health.

But, is this necessary?

Low wages, low health subsidies, health insurance schemes such as Medisave and MediShield that provide little protection – these all add up together to prevent a segment of Singaporeans from being able to adequately take care of themselves, no matter how hard they try. Self-reliance then becomes a broken concept, when one doesn’t even have enough to rely on for oneself.

Read more here.

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20 comments

  1. mishkakabam

    Basically, you are asking for the government to increase wages and to further subsidize health care. Please explain where they should get the money from? By increasing taxes, which will ultimately bring up the cost of living as well right?

    It is easy to point things out, but it sure isn’t easy trying to explain how to solve these issues.
    Gosh, stop yakking away and put those stupid graphs away. How did you even come up with them? Did you go to the field and get surveys? Or do you just create graphs as you deem fit.

    And you want to be an MP.
    Laugh until i cannot laugh anymore!

  2. Shocker

    Mr Roy…..an MP…..will be shocking,you can’t even take care of your old life and talking about helping others,you pluck your graphs,charts,number out from your stupid brain…which can be put in a good use…but you chose to go against the government,and now you yourself want to be part of the government….still can’t understand…..are you smart or stupid!

  3. Joe

    I’m dying from all his arguments. I wish he can read his comments before he post.

    In addition, I question this guy’s intention to run for election (like many others). I see it as they are just trying to gain fame and popularity. And this can be shown when he just ignore every comments made about him, and not look at what ppl is trying to tell him (including these comments)

  4. Concerned citizen

    What is your solution? You always shout “Spend money on Healthcare, give cpf back, raise wages, stop immigration, raise rents”.. All of what you demand costs Singapore . Have you written anything about making net money for Singapore? It is easy to spend. Singapore is a small city state without natural resources. If we spend our reserves sgd becomes weak. Weaker currency means our quality of lifestyle will reduce. Singapore will start to reverse and have to go back to manufacturing based economy of the 80s. Is this what you are preaching? Spend all the money and go back to square one?
    If you want to talk about spending supplement it by giving a plan of how you will fund it. But then we can’t expect frugal economic ideas from someone who hasn’t even held a job for a reasonable time and lived on monthly salary can we?

  5. Return Our CPF $$$ & Regime Change!!!

    Nothing short of “Regime Change” to undo the many “flawed” Govt policies affecting thousands of our Citizens, PMEs, Workers, Pioneer Gen, Old Folks e past 15-20 years! The Old Guards dead. The New Guards in PAPay are “Overpaid, Overated, Overpowered & Underperformed”:( They sold their “soul” to “white devils” for $$$, Power & Personal Glory enslaving & turning entire native population into “minorities” in our own country! Plus “lock up” our hard-earned CPF Savings without consent, national Referandum & returning e $$& at 55 as Citizens Retirement Fund:( Sedition & Betrayal!!!

  6. medic scam life

    There are so many told and untold accounts of how people and citizens rather commit suicide, because they can’t afford the singapore medical services

    Those who can pay, have their health worsened at an accelerated pace !

    Now pap wants to find another way to rob us via medic scam life. .. People may consider burning them HELL NOTES instead

    • Chris

      Scam? Really? How do know?
      Can u share the details of this scam?
      Next, do u think that ur whole life is a scam? Just like matrix? Maybe we dun even exist in Singapore… Right? It’s all in our mind…
      Wow, this is so “Roy”…

  7. Lau Hero

    U guys (or Pap IB) may have mistaken Roy for running this GE. Roy is definitely not for fame, popularity or revenge. What Roy is doing in this GE? Only he knows. He is there to offer an alternative voices for the ordinary citizens, not to offer solutions for the ruling party to “cut & paste” these solutions ( anyway Vivian Balakrishnan already said cannot work for free else u r a corrupted; that’s why Roy can’t or won’t offer solutions to these ministers else he is corrupted). RN already mentioned many times that we r a ‘rich city’ but the govt expenditure to help the low – middle income is at bare minimum compared to all the other developed nations. If RN or Reform Party is able to reduce AMK GRC overall %votes by 5 to 10 % it will tell the ruling PAP party they have to do something about the policies else they might be even voted out..

    • Ted

      In a democratic country, no one knows who u vote for and how ur vote will change ur country’s fate… Unless u can manipulate the % of vote to and for pap… Please dun assume everyone will vote for pap…
      Democracy is on the assumption that the people will choose the best people to lead, it is not to ‘threaten’ the govt…

    • Concerned citizen

      You can raise voices and be heard in a democracy without holding office. An mp post is not a laughing matter. For such roles we need leaders who identify problems, understand repercussions and offer solutions not incompetent loud mouths. Incompetent loud mouths can shout all they want in the Web. If it makes sense government will notice and try their best to address the issue and compromise.
      Singapore offers several hundred thousands as renumeration to MPs to attract the best leaders, visionaries and accomplished individuals from private sector. Such individuals are not loud mouthed morons who shout over and over about the same issue without any basic clue of how things work and without any solutions. A basic litmus test for determining the capability of your mp will be whether you think he can earn a similar salary or above if he were to work in private sector. Roy can’t even hold a job to evaluate his salary levels.

  8. Ted

    Another grand plan to spend our public funds…. Roy, why don’t u just drop dead and pray to be born in Greece? I think u wil be happier there…. Lots of benefits but only one problem, Greece is bankrupt due to all these benefits… Then borrow more money, IMF will love u when our future PM ROY eats white rice and beg them for more loans with no hope of getting back their money…

  9. Chris

    Roy, can u comment ur comments why do u delete all the negative comments in your Facebook but you do not do the same here?
    And can u start to refute all these valid negative comments?
    Can u also show us why u keep lying? Is it a form of illness?

  10. Waka

    The solutions can be found in SDP policies….as what RN wrote previously in his blog…whether is RN fit to be an MP let the electorate decide…

  11. Singapore Citizen Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)

    Subtle Denial of Medical Treatment by the Singapore Government for Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)

    Mr. Teo En Ming (Zhang Enming)
    Singapore Citizen

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