In a recent post, Lucky discusses a New Paper article which talks about Singaporeans being able to use their own Medisave savings to seek medical treatment in Malaysia. Lucky writes:
If your healthcare system is not universal and becomes so expensive that citizens have to go to a developing country for treatment, it is a tragedy, not an achievement. However, if you read today's New Paper, it seems to be saying the MOH has helped Singaporeans to save money by allowing them to use their Medisave for hospitalisation in Malaysia. All of us have to thank Minister Khaw for this flexibility of being able to save money by travelling to Malaysia when we get sick.
The article doesn't ask about adequency of govt support for poorer Singaporeans when the cost of private care in Malaysia is less than half (according to New Paper) that of subsidised care in Singapore. It doesn't ask why these people have to go to Malaysia to save money when Minister Khaw can get his heart fixed for $8....so poor people pay more and rich millionaires like Khaw get cheap healthcare - there is certainly a moral issue here.
The New Paper article is filled with smiling patients who are happy to save money going to Malaysia for treatment but I believe the story in many real cases sound more like tragedies. Take Singapore singer Yue Lei case as an example[Link]. He had to sell his home and go to Mahkota Hospital for cancer treatment because healthcare in Singapore is too expensive. Singapore often boasts of having one of the highest standards of medical care in the world but when the govt wants to keep its expenditure on subsidies down by sending poorer sick Singaporeans to Malaysia, it says the standard of care in a developing country is just as good as Singapore's.
Being able to get poor Singaporeans to go to developing countries for medical care takes the pressure off the govt to do more to contain costs and ensure universality in our system. We shouldn't have allowed this ...it is a tragic development for poor Singaporeans who get sick and don't get adequate help.
I disagree with Lucky, because I think that the New Paper article did the public an excellent service, by highlighting the fact that Singaporeans can use their Medisave to seek medical treatment in Malaysia.
It is important for more Singaporeans to be aware of this, especially because the costs of healthcare in Singapore can be so high. It is useful for all of us to know that there are viable alternatives for us, just across the Causeway.
Lucky goes on harping and complaining about why isn't the Singapore government providing affordable healthcare for Singaporeans in our country. These are ridiculous assertions and the sooner you realise it, the better for you.
The government isn't here to take care of you. The government isn't here to serve Singaporeans. The government isn't here to care for the poor and the sick.
The government is just a large, unwieldy, faceless piece of machinery programmed to carry out its own political agenda; pursue its own policies; and serve its own interests. Those interests may or may not coincide with your interests. If they do, well, that's just a coincidence.
YOU need to take care of you. The sooner you understand this, the better for you. You will see the pointlessness of complaining about why the government is not providing affordable healthcare to Singaporeans. You will see the value of gathering knowledge about how to better survive on your own resources.
Knowledge such as how to go to Malaysia and get medical treatment there.