Singapore pushes healthcare problem to people, not the right approach: TKL

My friend, who lives in Sydney, had a medical condition and needed to be attended by several doctors. The government scheme paid for most of the cost of treatment. However, he found that the doctors abused the system by over-servicing the patients.

When he wanted to visit his elderly mother in Singapore during the Lunar New Year, his doctors advised him not to go away for too long. They fix all kinds of appointments for him to see them regularly. My friend found that it was not necessary. The doctors made a lot of money by billing the government for the treatment.

The Australian government has found the providing health care is too costly and is taking steps to control the charges of the doctors.

In Singapore, the government pushes the cost to the patients. This does not solve the problem. The patients are ignorant of what is or is not needed. Many families paid for the high cost. Some have been bankrupted.

Although there is abuse, the Australian system allows the abuse to be addressed at the right level, i.e. by the government. They have the resources and know-how to managed the abuse. They are now discussing how to set caps to the billings by the doctors.

We should address issues by tackling the root cause. The approach adopted in Singapore is to push the problem to somebody else, i.e. the public. It is a wrong approach.

Tan Kin Lian

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