Thursday, March 13, 2014

Maintaining Healthcare Hikes

Amidst all the jabber about helping seniors cope with health care costs, one sentence stands out: Medisave deductions will be increased by 1 percent next year. The current contribution as a percentage of wage to the Medisave Account ranges from 7 (age 35 and below) to 9.5 (65 plus). That 1 percent is a helluva hike.

When they say purse strings will be loosened further to help people, they conveniently omit the tightening of the noose around those struggling to cope. Yay, the $30 deductible patients must pay for usage of Medisave for chronic treatments is waived - yes, Virginia, Singaporeans have to pay extra to access their own hard earned money - but  the 15 percent co-payment remains. No cash in your pockets? Forget about those "generous" subsidies being touted in the Budget.

Watch the small print. People can use up to $300 a year for non-cancer-related scans for outpatient diagnosis. But the $300 cannot be used to cover the payment for cancer scans beyond the $600 cap. It's a double whammy if the non-cancer-related scan spots a nasty looking tumour. From next year, older people can withdraw up to $200 more a year from Medisave for outpatient payment, except details about who and what qualifies have yet to be worked out. In this instance, this small print is not even available.

Somewhere else in print is the news that more than 4,000 doctors and dentists in the public sector will be rewarded with a 9 percent pay increase. That's about 4,150 votes for the incumbents. That should help maintain Singapore's reputation as the most expensive city on planet earth. That should also help keep health care costs affordable.

Senior Minister of State for Health Amy Khor said the ability to attract talent with cash is the key to success in upscaling our health care capacity, such as clever usage of tented facilities charged at normal hospital ward rates. The Old Man tried that move, and we get to see the types that sneak into parliament.

Quote of the day from Low Thia Khiang, on subject of hospital bed crunch and other class act stumbles: "One certainly hopes that Singapore does not make history by going from Third World to First, and back to Third within one generation."


  1. You have made the important point - that any loosening of the purse strings is in fact letting you use your own had-earned savings. Through all the rhetoric the most important one alluded by you is missing - reduction of healthcare costs. They are only too ready to take measures to reduce legal costs. The difference in approach and treatment boils down to the one thing that matters to them money. Making lawyers rich does not make them rich whereas making doctors rich will. Don't forget medical tourism.

  2. I'm voting Opposition to help me monitor all the goings-on in our CPF accounts.

  3. The details is always in the devil.

  4. The Gov. should really find ways to reduce the healthcare cost and not the other way to use our cpf money for healthcare further. We are indeed the most expensive city.

    1. You presume that the PAP government wants to reduce healthcare costs for Singaporeans?
      Methinks you presume too much.

      You will understand life in Singapore better when you assume PAP to be a bunch of self serving politicians.

  5. Mr Low Thia Khiang rightfully asked "is waiting for hospital beds part of active aging for our senior citizens?"

    The failure to plan is very obvious. I don't understand how people could continue to support the PAP.

    1. "The failure to plan is very obvious."

      Maybe it's all part of the healthcare plan.
      Maybe there is no failure at all.

      Assuming you die while waiting for your turn at our over-crowded hospitals.
      You die.
      Problem solved.
      No need to waste money, time and resources on old people who will die eventually anyway.
      Make more housing space for more foreign talents.

    2. Low asked that????!!!

      I cant understand how people can worry that perhaps the opposition can't govern. (Which means, they NEED to be voted in to get some experience) I don't see the PAP showing that its people can govern at all.

      In fact, its been totally inept - despite all its years being govt, despite its so-called experienced pple, despite its claim to having the best people, despite all its many scholars. That things are in the state that they are despite all this is particularly frightening.

      How much worse can a bunch of inexperienced pple be? We did quite well with the last lot of such inexperienced pple - a group of fellows with dreams and determination who got to be the govt in the late 1950s.

      As for planning -- how do you spell that plse? The 4-letter, 1-syllable word ''plan'' has not been in the PAP's vocabulary for more than 2 decades.

    3. So in summary .... Is PM Lee's PAP government operationally ready to govern?

      My view - Not by a long shot.

    4. PM Lee's PAP certainly wants to govern to have political power which enable them to make much fortune.
      At the same time, PAP is prepared to let others have the power. When others take over peacefully, it is also time for PAP to let the newbies clean up the mess the PAP left behind.
      Will PAP Members not be happy to enjoy the fortunes they made over the years?
      You tell me la.

  6. do you feel a quickening, a sort of last dash, like the end is near? after boiling the frog for 30 years, i think they think the kitchen's getting crowded so decided to serve the frog, live.

  7. Everyone curse the Fed for printing money and maintaining zero percent interest rates while inflation eats away the savers' spending power. Well the papig garmen has been doing this since independence, by generating garmen-related inflation (thru healthcare costs, higher COE, housing bubbles, ERP etc etc). Garmen who owes its people a lot of money always try to push up inflation so it repays you less than what it borrows. In Sing's case, garmen borrows your CPF, which is lent to the GIC and Temasek to gamble away. If they ever hope to repay the CPF without the population Ponzi trick, then inflation is the only solution. Inflation also ensures the banks here, who have collectively lent out over 6 times our GDP, are able to collect interests from their borrowers. In a deflationary world, savers like you benefits (yes you all have CPF savings, if only in name). In an inflationary world, the borrowers such as the garmen and the gamblers are happy because they pay you back worthless pieces of inflated money. So now you know why your CPF can pay you 2.5% interest even though you suspect Temasek's returns must surely be negative after so many blow ups? Its because your friendly garmen controls the lever to inflation, working hard to make sure that the actual inflation experienced by you sheeple (not the Singstat piece of shit called CPI) is at least double what the CPF pays you. The way to do this, as already mentioned above, is by ensuring COE, SMRT/SBS fares rise without fail, housing bubble, higher healthcare costs, higher SC&C, higher stamp duties, higher everything (and GDP bonuses of course). Welcome to reality red dotters! Spread the gospel, FT is good for them, and inflation too!


    If they are not 3rd world, then they should start behaving and act like first world. This will be their downfall in 2016. The healthcare goodies and spin can keep coming, but they will have to pay for the price of denying the people their CPF!

  9. Nothing is more effective in indoctrination than National Service.
    The Israelis are demonstrating against conscription.