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1/3 of Oz doctors being female prove SG policy is correct

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  • lionnoisy's Avatar
    6,610 posts since May '05
    • one third of Oz doctors being female prove SG policy is correct.

      Oz PM Rudd said:

      the nationwide GP shortage, which currently affects six in 10 Australians

       

      SG policy of restricting female medical undergrad are widely

      critized .I am not sure if this policy also apply to dentist programmes.

      Is the female intake cap at one third in SG?

      Look at the Australia reality.

      Only 34% and 29% of doctors and dentists are female respectively.

      If Oz Uni take medical and dentists undergrad equally in sex

      ,then much $$ and resources are wasted.

      @@@@@@@@@@2

      There is a shortage of doctors in Australia...

      I dunt know the cause.

      • 05 Nov 2008
      • This will help tackle the nationwide GP shortage, which currently affects six in 10 Australians – delivering more GPs, and helping more families to access basic health services.

        It is not good enough that with a GP shortage stretching right across the country, potential GPs were being knocked back from training places because of a cap imposed by the previous Liberal Government.

        The Rudd Government has acted to fix this, as an immediate down payment on future workforce reform.

      31 October 2008

      Medical practitioner supply up, but primary care doctor supply falls

      The overall supply of medical practitioners in Australia rose between 2002 and 2006, while the primary care doctor supply fell, according to a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

      http://www.phcris.org.au/fastfacts/fact.php?id=4833

      The Australian Pathology Workforce Crisis (PDF 573 KB) A report by Michael Legg and Associates to the Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing - October 2008.--this contains many data sources

      Australia Medical Association say

      http://www.ama.com.au/web.nsf?opendatabase


      AMA: GP training places - just what the doctor ordered
      Urgent Need To Train More GPs
      GPs: The Heart of Primary Care Reform
      Commonwealth Must Not Abandon Mentally Ill
      AMA: Now Time for Billions on Beds

      http://www.wpro.who.int/countries/aus/

      health data book

      WESTERN PACIFIC REGION HEALTH DATABANK, 2008 Revision

      AUSTRALIA

       

      Singapore data

      http://www.wpro.who.int/NR/rdonlyres/D38AC77A-3DD2-4C4C-986E-593BB5BB3E39/0/34finalSINtab08.pdf

      mmmm

      Edited by lionnoisy 06 Nov `08, 3:30PM
  • SingaporeTyrannosaur's Avatar
    6,889 posts since Jan '03
    • No MRI on weekends, blame it on 'bad luck'


         MY FATHER, Ang Teong Hui, was admitted recently to Changi General Hospital, where he was diagnosed with a mild stroke. However, his condition deteriorated and he fell into a coma on the same day.

        The doctors did various tests on him and took scans of his brain where they eventually found the cause of his deteriorating condition.

        However, the last scan - an MRI - was done a day after he was admitted, after the doctors felt that he might not pull through and needed the scan urgently.

        When asked why the scan was not done earlier, the doctor replied that it was bad luck on my father's part as MRI scans were not done on weekends.

        After my father was transferred out of the intensive-care unit to a normal ward, we asked one of the nurses why such a piece of state-of-the-art equipment was not used on weekends.

        The nurse replied that it was unfair to recall the doctors just to do the scan because weekends were supposed to be their rest days.

        Well, if it was unfair for the doctors to work on weekends, was it fair for my father to be denied treatment on a weekend, especially when the situation was so crucial?

        My father died on Oct 8, aged 53, and there is nothing my family and I can do to bring him back. But I would like to make it known to Changi General Hospital and the relevant government departments that attitudes such as those mentioned above were incorrect.



      Ang Yu Ying (Ms)
      The Straits Times
      Oct 29, 2004

    • High prices for common drugs in HDB heartland


        MY CHILD was sick, down with a bad cough, sore throat, runny nose and a slight fever on Feb 16. At 9pm, our family doctor had left so we went to another private clinic - 'Street 11 Clinic' at Block 139 Tampines Street 11.

        After a brief consultation, she was given these medicines cough syrup (one bottle, 'Dhasedyl, 90ml'); a packet of 'Danzen' (20 tablets, 5mg) for the throat; 'Telfast D' (10 tablets) for runny nose and antibiotics 'Klacid MR' (five 500mg tablets for throat and nose).

        I was astonished when I received the bill. These medicines cost me $80. I am puzzled at the high cost because I believe that my daughter's symptoms were fairly common and she was treated by a locum.

        I feel the clinic had either overcharged and jacked up the price of common drugs, or did it give me unnecessarily expensive drugs for a common illness

        I asked the receptionist for a breakdown of the cost of the various medicines. To my surprise, the staff informed me that the five antibiotic tablets alone cost $37.

        I believe Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan had mentioned that affordable medicines be provided for patients at reasonable prices. Yet the clinic in our heartlands is charging drugs such as 'Klacid MR' at an exorbitant price. This is a worrying problem which I hope can be addressed to benefit the masses.



      Gan Siok Wah (Mdm)
      The Straits Times
      Feb 23, 2006

    • Sick child waited 1 1/2 hours to see A&E doc


        ON THE day the letter, 'Three-hour wait at KK's A&E Department' (ST, March 7), was published, my son too came down with vomiting, diarrhoea and fever.

        He experienced excessive thirst but would throw up shortly after drinking water. As he was showing signs of dehydration, my wife and I decided to take him to a hospital after midnight.

        Unfortunately, having missed reading the papers that day, we took him to KK Hospital in the belief that we could get immediate help at the 24-hour children's emergency ward. How wrong we were.

        Despite being put on the 'priority' list, it was only 1 1/2 hours later that we finally saw the doctor. The check-up was simple and was over in 15 minutes.

        We decided to admit him for observation, and for him to get some rest. Then came more drama. The admission process took some 40 minutes. I was asked to sign in some 10 different places, and the staff (whose English was hardly comprehensible) was going back and forth photocopying forms.

        Apparently, we could not send our son up to the room before all the forms were completed. It was close to 4am before he got to his bed. My wife fell sick the next morning.

        It seems hospitals here take more care of paperwork and payments than of the sick. The fact is that there will always be many cases which, although not life-and-death situations, cannot exactly wait until the next day. What should we do in such cases?

        I would also like to know if the Ministry of Health could publish statistics on waiting times in A&E wards. Also, whether there are any guidelines governing this.



      Agus Tirtoredjo
      The Straits Times
      March 23, 2006

    • $77 for copy of test results


        I HAVE done a series of medical tests at Singapore General Hospital over the past few months for a chronic pain condition. Having spent several thousands of dollars, I was shocked to be told I had to pay an additional $77 for a copy of the test results. Why should I have to pay for a copy of my own test results when I have already paid for the tests? Isn't this double-payment? Or does a dozen sheets of paper cost $77 these days?



      Heng Su Lin (Ms)
      The Straits Times
      July 24, 2006

    • Is Mt Elizabeth hospital’s health services deserve its perceived standard as a private hospital?
       

      [

      some additions after I received a few feedback:

      1. i have made complaints to hospital the first thing but only received apology letter. the list of happenings continued becoz it is the way it is there.

      2. we couldnt move mum to another hospital coz of her condition.

      3. yes, someone in our family is familiar with medical/health practices and drugs.

      4. yes, I have kept the evidences.

      ]


      My mum was hospitalized recently due to dengue and to our horror, we discover for ourselves the quality of the Mount Elizabeth hospitalization service which would have killed her if we had not been cautious.
       
      On the 3rd and 4th day of hospitalization from high fever, my mum's condition became worse. This was when we had the horrific experience from the hospital staff. Each time I returned to the hospital, I discover that my mum was not being monitored for her condition. The nurses were not aware whether my mum has taken her meal and medication or that she was having diarrhea. They were also unaware of her pains or complications arising from the dengue fever complications.
       
      My mum was weak and semi-conscious from high fever initially and her condition got very much worse. She was barely able to speak and was unconscious most of the time. We saw that the nurses were unaware of her conditions, did not chart her progress, and did not check on her. My mum would have died as she was a case of dengue fever with complications. Patients with her similar conditions had died. If not for our own efforts to monitor her, we would have lost her to the hospital service which we were willing to pay dearly for.
       
      When my mum was having diarrhea and I returned to the hospital to discover that myself, I asked my mum what happened and she mumbled in her weak condition that the nurses only took her to the toilet and left her there after she rang the bell. My mum had to clean herself every time in her weak condition. For information, my mum could hardly walk and was shaking badly.
       
       
      My mum has existing high blood pressure and diabetics which she takes medication for. Upon the doctor's instruction, the nurses were to instruct us not to administer my mum any high blood pressure medication on 13 Nov 07 while no family were not around in hospital. The nurse did not check my mum's medication but asked my mum, who was semi-conscious to sort out the medication herself. I returned to the hospital a few hours later to find my mum taken the medication she was not supposed to take. She also has her pack of medications lying around her bed and has 'passed out' while trying to pack them. I looked at the medication and found that she has also packed aspirin which could have jeopardized her condition into her medication box. The next day, my mum's blood pressure dropped below the normal range due to the medication at 97/64.
       
       
      On 15th Nov Thursday 9pm, my younger sister found the nurse giving my mum an overdose of medication as the previous administration had not been charted on my mum's patient records.
       
      On 4 other occasions, the nurses forgot to administer my mum necessary medication until we rectified the situation. (*Once, her diabetic medication, twice her high blood pressure medication, and another her cough syrup)
       
      On 21st Nov morning, mum asked a nurse to assist her to sit up in bed. The nurse rudely replied, " Auntie, I don’t have the strength to pull you up." she walked away and mum assumed she went out to ask for assistance. She did not return to help mum further.
       
       
      20th Nov 8pm. my sister found that the diabetic medication is not administered at all even though the rest of the medication has been administered
      18th Nov 10pm. Mum high blood pressure went up to 170/110. The nurse said she will call the doctor for advice but did not. I approached the nurse station and the nurse asked me to speak to the head nurse instead. The head nurse then called the doctor.
       
      19th Nov 10am. Doctor came at 9.30 to see mum. She prescribed mum to resume her high blood medication atenolol. I passed our supply of atenolol to the nurse immediately. I approached the nurse station at 10am. The message had not been passed down to administer the medication.
       
       
      On the day of admission at the A&E, the nurse (unknown name) who took my mum's blood for testing spilled blood over the floor. Her method for drawing blood is unnecessarily painful as described by my mum.
       
      During my mum's hospitalization, a Philippine nurse came to take my mum's blood for tests daily. I witnessed her as very clumsy. She poked my mum 3 times on the second morning, once on her elbow and shifting the needle around under her skin, another on the back of her hand and another near her wrist. The then decided to draw blood from my mum's finger. During the 4 days which I were aware of her taking blood, she dropped the cap of the tube on the floor, always forgetting and reaching for things from the trolley, and I had to hold the cotton over my mum's wound every time. Worst of all, blood never failed to spill over the floor and bed sheets. My mum would wince with unnecessary pain during her lengthy process.
       
       
      On 16 Nov 07 afternoon, I found some plastic wrap drenched in carrot sauce in the lunch served to mum. My mum has false teeth and could have swallowed and choked on the wrap given her condition at that time. For information, we asked for soft food due to my mum’s condition.
       
      One nurse (GW) came over one day at 3pm and ask my mum if she still needed a certain pink tablet medication called Nexium. My mum was in semi-conscious condition for some days and was not fully aware of the medication taken. Therefore, my mum did not understand what she said. So I asked the nurse what the drug was for, she said it is to aid digestion. I said my mum was not taking any drug to aid digestion. She then said it was for the bloated feeling on which I said again that the medication was in liquid form. She became frustrated and told me off saying she was asking my mum. My mum guessed and asked if it protected the stomach from the medication. GW then said yes. Since we said my mum has been eating some food and we did not know if she still needed the medication, GW said she would take the drug off. My sister later said that the drug was prescribed because my mum was having low platelet counts due to dengue and was prescribed the drug to protect the stomach from bleeding during food and medication.
       
      The next day, GW forgot to administer cough syrup at dinner time and I went to ask for it at 8pm. She came in with the cough syrup and asked my mum how long the effect of the syrup usually last. Due to the last experience, GW refused to ask me who was there right then when I was in a better position being there at the hospital most of the time. She left immediately after my mum said she did not know.
       
      On 20Nov 07 evening, the nurse forgot my mum's evening dosage of Glipizide, until my sister asked the nurse for it.
       
      First and most important of all, the staff should be monitoring the conditions, not coming in to ask my mum only when she got better. This happened to be after we made complains to the hospital customer service of the happenings. This applied to everything from medication to my mum’s progress.
       
      Secondly, my mum was in semi-conscious condition for the first week but GW insisted that my mum replied her questions.  Her actions would have further complicate mum’s conditions and killed her. When GW decided for the doctor whether to administer the drug without understanding the purpose of the mediation, she almost caused internal bleeding in our mum. She also should not be randomly presuming what the medication was for. Medications were also often forgotten.
       
      Thirdly, patients would have choked on foreign particles in their soft diet.
       
      How unconcerned of the patients can it be at this private hospital?
       
      If my mum had been alone, a spinster or widow with no children or maid to look after her, she would have died from negligence in Mount Elizabeth hospital and her death reasons covered up as dengue fever complications. No one would discover that she had diarrhea, painful bloating in her abdomen or choking due to bloating in her lungs. She would have died from overdose (cough), wrong administration (high blood pressure medication) and under administration (high blood, nexium, glipizide) of drugs.
       
      Shandy

  • oxford mushroom's Avatar
    4,923 posts since Mar '05
    • Originally posted by SingaporeTyrannosaur:

      High prices for common drugs in HDB heartland

       

        MY CHILD was sick, down with a bad cough, sore throat, runny nose and a slight fever on Feb 16. At 9pm, our family doctor had left so we went to another private clinic - 'Street 11 Clinic' at Block 139 Tampines Street 11.

        After a brief consultation, she was given these medicines cough syrup (one bottle, 'Dhasedyl, 90ml'); a packet of 'Danzen' (20 tablets, 5mg) for the throat; 'Telfast D' (10 tablets) for runny nose and antibiotics 'Klacid MR' (five 500mg tablets for throat and nose).

        I was astonished when I received the bill. These medicines cost me $80. I am puzzled at the high cost because I believe that my daughter's symptoms were fairly common and she was treated by a locum.

        I feel the clinic had either overcharged and jacked up the price of common drugs, or did it give me unnecessarily expensive drugs for a common illness

        I asked the receptionist for a breakdown of the cost of the various medicines. To my surprise, the staff informed me that the five antibiotic tablets alone cost $37.

        I believe Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan had mentioned that affordable medicines be provided for patients at reasonable prices. Yet the clinic in our heartlands is charging drugs such as 'Klacid MR' at an exorbitant price. This is a worrying problem which I hope can be addressed to benefit the masses.



      Gan Siok Wah (Mdm)
      The Straits Times
      Feb 23, 2006

      As David Gan said, don't come to me if you cannot afford my prices

    • Originally posted by SingaporeTyrannosaur:

      $77 for copy of test results

       

        I HAVE done a series of medical tests at Singapore General Hospital over the past few months for a chronic pain condition. Having spent several thousands of dollars, I was shocked to be told I had to pay an additional $77 for a copy of the test results. Why should I have to pay for a copy of my own test results when I have already paid for the tests? Isn't this double-payment? Or does a dozen sheets of paper cost $77 these days?



      Heng Su Lin (Ms)
      The Straits Times
      July 24, 2006

      If you just want a dozen sheets of waste paper it will be far cheaper. But if you expect a nurse to search your case notes, retrieve the electronic records, make the copies and ask a doctor or technician to verify they are the correct results, then you must pay for the time taken by these highly trained professionals. And $77 is dirt cheap.....lawyers charge far more to make photocopies of legal papers. 

    • Originally posted by SingaporeTyrannosaur:

      Sick child waited 1 1/2 hours to see A&E doc

       

        ON THE day the letter, 'Three-hour wait at KK's A&E Department' (ST, March 7), was published, my son too came down with vomiting, diarrhoea and fever.

        He experienced excessive thirst but would throw up shortly after drinking water. As he was showing signs of dehydration, my wife and I decided to take him to a hospital after midnight.

        Unfortunately, having missed reading the papers that day, we took him to KK Hospital in the belief that we could get immediate help at the 24-hour children's emergency ward. How wrong we were.

        Despite being put on the 'priority' list, it was only 1 1/2 hours later that we finally saw the doctor. The check-up was simple and was over in 15 minutes.

        We decided to admit him for observation, and for him to get some rest. Then came more drama. The admission process took some 40 minutes. I was asked to sign in some 10 different places, and the staff (whose English was hardly comprehensible) was going back and forth photocopying forms.

        Apparently, we could not send our son up to the room before all the forms were completed. It was close to 4am before he got to his bed. My wife fell sick the next morning.

        It seems hospitals here take more care of paperwork and payments than of the sick. The fact is that there will always be many cases which, although not life-and-death situations, cannot exactly wait until the next day. What should we do in such cases?

        I would also like to know if the Ministry of Health could publish statistics on waiting times in A&E wards. Also, whether there are any guidelines governing this.



      Agus Tirtoredjo
      The Straits Times
      March 23, 2006

      The child did not die, did he? 90 minute wait for a non-emergency is far too short. For the charges you pay, what do you expect? If you want a doctor to drop everything and abandon more seriously ill patients just to see your child, you should just employ your own in-house physician. Go to the UK....with those symptoms, your son will have to make an appointment the next morning to see your GP. The waiting time for a GP appointment is another 2 days.  

    • Originally posted by SingaporeTyrannosaur:

      Is Mt Elizabeth hospital’s health services deserve its perceived standard as a private hospital?
       

      [

      some additions after I received a few feedback:

      1. i have made complaints to hospital the first thing but only received apology letter. the list of happenings continued becoz it is the way it is there.

      2. we couldnt move mum to another hospital coz of her condition.

      3. yes, someone in our family is familiar with medical/health practices and drugs.

      4. yes, I have kept the evidences.

      ]


      My mum was hospitalized recently due to dengue and to our horror, we discover for ourselves the quality of the Mount Elizabeth hospitalization service which would have killed her if we had not been cautious.
       
      On the 3rd and 4th day of hospitalization from high fever, my mum's condition became worse. This was when we had the horrific experience from the hospital staff. Each time I returned to the hospital, I discover that my mum was not being monitored for her condition. The nurses were not aware whether my mum has taken her meal and medication or that she was having diarrhea. They were also unaware of her pains or complications arising from the dengue fever complications.
       
      My mum was weak and semi-conscious from high fever initially and her condition got very much worse. She was barely able to speak and was unconscious most of the time. We saw that the nurses were unaware of her conditions, did not chart her progress, and did not check on her. My mum would have died as she was a case of dengue fever with complications. Patients with her similar conditions had died. If not for our own efforts to monitor her, we would have lost her to the hospital service which we were willing to pay dearly for.
       
      When my mum was having diarrhea and I returned to the hospital to discover that myself, I asked my mum what happened and she mumbled in her weak condition that the nurses only took her to the toilet and left her there after she rang the bell. My mum had to clean herself every time in her weak condition. For information, my mum could hardly walk and was shaking badly.
       
       
      My mum has existing high blood pressure and diabetics which she takes medication for. Upon the doctor's instruction, the nurses were to instruct us not to administer my mum any high blood pressure medication on 13 Nov 07 while no family were not around in hospital. The nurse did not check my mum's medication but asked my mum, who was semi-conscious to sort out the medication herself. I returned to the hospital a few hours later to find my mum taken the medication she was not supposed to take. She also has her pack of medications lying around her bed and has 'passed out' while trying to pack them. I looked at the medication and found that she has also packed aspirin which could have jeopardized her condition into her medication box. The next day, my mum's blood pressure dropped below the normal range due to the medication at 97/64.
       
       
      On 15th Nov Thursday 9pm, my younger sister found the nurse giving my mum an overdose of medication as the previous administration had not been charted on my mum's patient records.
       
      On 4 other occasions, the nurses forgot to administer my mum necessary medication until we rectified the situation. (*Once, her diabetic medication, twice her high blood pressure medication, and another her cough syrup)
       
      On 21st Nov morning, mum asked a nurse to assist her to sit up in bed. The nurse rudely replied, " Auntie, I don’t have the strength to pull you up." she walked away and mum assumed she went out to ask for assistance. She did not return to help mum further.
       
       
      20th Nov 8pm. my sister found that the diabetic medication is not administered at all even though the rest of the medication has been administered
      18th Nov 10pm. Mum high blood pressure went up to 170/110. The nurse said she will call the doctor for advice but did not. I approached the nurse station and the nurse asked me to speak to the head nurse instead. The head nurse then called the doctor.
       
      19th Nov 10am. Doctor came at 9.30 to see mum. She prescribed mum to resume her high blood medication atenolol. I passed our supply of atenolol to the nurse immediately. I approached the nurse station at 10am. The message had not been passed down to administer the medication.
       
       
      On the day of admission at the A&E, the nurse (unknown name) who took my mum's blood for testing spilled blood over the floor. Her method for drawing blood is unnecessarily painful as described by my mum.
       
      During my mum's hospitalization, a Philippine nurse came to take my mum's blood for tests daily. I witnessed her as very clumsy. She poked my mum 3 times on the second morning, once on her elbow and shifting the needle around under her skin, another on the back of her hand and another near her wrist. The then decided to draw blood from my mum's finger. During the 4 days which I were aware of her taking blood, she dropped the cap of the tube on the floor, always forgetting and reaching for things from the trolley, and I had to hold the cotton over my mum's wound every time. Worst of all, blood never failed to spill over the floor and bed sheets. My mum would wince with unnecessary pain during her lengthy process.
       
       
      On 16 Nov 07 afternoon, I found some plastic wrap drenched in carrot sauce in the lunch served to mum. My mum has false teeth and could have swallowed and choked on the wrap given her condition at that time. For information, we asked for soft food due to my mum’s condition.
       
      One nurse (GW) came over one day at 3pm and ask my mum if she still needed a certain pink tablet medication called Nexium. My mum was in semi-conscious condition for some days and was not fully aware of the medication taken. Therefore, my mum did not understand what she said. So I asked the nurse what the drug was for, she said it is to aid digestion. I said my mum was not taking any drug to aid digestion. She then said it was for the bloated feeling on which I said again that the medication was in liquid form. She became frustrated and told me off saying she was asking my mum. My mum guessed and asked if it protected the stomach from the medication. GW then said yes. Since we said my mum has been eating some food and we did not know if she still needed the medication, GW said she would take the drug off. My sister later said that the drug was prescribed because my mum was having low platelet counts due to dengue and was prescribed the drug to protect the stomach from bleeding during food and medication.
       
      The next day, GW forgot to administer cough syrup at dinner time and I went to ask for it at 8pm. She came in with the cough syrup and asked my mum how long the effect of the syrup usually last. Due to the last experience, GW refused to ask me who was there right then when I was in a better position being there at the hospital most of the time. She left immediately after my mum said she did not know.
       
      On 20Nov 07 evening, the nurse forgot my mum's evening dosage of Glipizide, until my sister asked the nurse for it.
       
      First and most important of all, the staff should be monitoring the conditions, not coming in to ask my mum only when she got better. This happened to be after we made complains to the hospital customer service of the happenings. This applied to everything from medication to my mum’s progress.
       
      Secondly, my mum was in semi-conscious condition for the first week but GW insisted that my mum replied her questions.  Her actions would have further complicate mum’s conditions and killed her. When GW decided for the doctor whether to administer the drug without understanding the purpose of the mediation, she almost caused internal bleeding in our mum. She also should not be randomly presuming what the medication was for. Medications were also often forgotten.
       
      Thirdly, patients would have choked on foreign particles in their soft diet.
       
      How unconcerned of the patients can it be at this private hospital?
       
      If my mum had been alone, a spinster or widow with no children or maid to look after her, she would have died from negligence in Mount Elizabeth hospital and her death reasons covered up as dengue fever complications. No one would discover that she had diarrhea, painful bloating in her abdomen or choking due to bloating in her lungs. She would have died from overdose (cough), wrong administration (high blood pressure medication) and under administration (high blood, nexium, glipizide) of drugs.
       
      Shandy

      If you have evidence that the hospital was negligent as you claim you do, go ahead and sue the hospital. Talk is cheap. 

  • SingaporeTyrannosaur's Avatar
    6,889 posts since Jan '03
    • Poor (Medical) Service Standards in Singapore!
      What's wrong with the people in Singapore?

      So what if you are a doctor, a teacher, a retail associate or professionals of any kind? So what if you have the degree, bachelor or master? Even if you are highly educated, regardless if you are bbm or pbm, you are just bushits.

      Feeling kinda insulted?


      Well, if you don't have the good attidutes towards others, you deserve it!


      This latest experience by my mum and aunts were definitely showing that doctors can be really pathetic, shameless and most likely haughty or proud just because they are a doctor. And words coming out from their mouth can really be insulting and stinks lots.

      Doctors are doctors. They should be professional in their behaviour and actions. Be it a dentist or a doctor doing all sorts of checkups, and be it doctors from a clinic or doctors from a hospital.
      It's really very ugly to see doctors being sarcastic and disrespectful to their patients.

      And you know what? Wow, ministers or other people praising the good service standards in Singapore when they are getting worse. Open up their eyes and see how ugly people can be when they aren't able to suck any money from your pocket. See how hungry and nasty these "professionals" can be?! They just want our money! If you don't give them the money, you might as well vanish far away and never be there again. So what in short do we call this--A daylight robbery, and mind you this is a legal daylight robbery!

      Customers should be served in a respectable manner provided they are also behaving in a courteous manner. However, sales person in shopping centres, departmental stores, even food courts just look at you at the corner of their eyes when you don't tend to buy anything but look. Who says it is wrong to look? By the way, the basic step to buying something from a shop is through glancing and looking. And if they never buy this time, they may just come back the next time and buy it straight away! So service standard hits new low in Singapore. Shame!

      Going back to the experience in a dental clinic. This doctor (a female one) is damn overboard to have actually say real nasty things to my uneducated and not-so-smart aunt. The setting: a new set of dentures for my aunt was not comfortable, and is painful to the gums. hence my mum and her went back to ask her and do something to the dentures like bending the metal wire.


      "

      Doctor: Face was very "smelly", then ask them...

      Mum: (Speaks for aunt) .....

      Doctor (She): Oh, maybe because she is low-IQ, she needs more time to adapt than a normal person. Dr also added she needs 3 months but others only need less than a month.

      Mum & Aunt: (Don't want to fight back...partially coz they're surprised to hear...)

      Doctor: Since she is low-IQ, she doesn't know how to bite...she only uses her toungue to break down the chunks of food. That's why she finds it pain when she wears the dentures.

      Doctor: You see, a normal person can learn how to write ABC in a very short period of time, and that she needs to use 1 year's time but yet still unable to pick up ABC.

      "




      This is far too overboard. The doctor is insulting her patients! She kept emphasising that my aunt is too low IQ and she doesn't know what to do?!! How can? At least we all know she can talk, she can eat, she can even do house chores and cook herself!

      And who says that low IQ has got to do with pain? Oh my god, even the stupidest person will never say such things!! STUPID DOCTOR-YOU ARE WORST: YOU=ZERO IQ!!!
      And mind her, everyone will feel pain since they are alive. It's whether they know how to express themselves and say it out or they don't say. All humans do feel pain.
      So the doctor said that she needs 3 month to adapt while others need one month to adapt? Isn't she trying to make ppl ROFL? Make my aunt suffer another 2 months? And by then the dentist cum doctor can excuse herself that she never see this patient before?!

      The truth is even "normal" people also go back to her and complain to her. So her answer to my aunt and mum is really sarcastic. She abuse the word "low-IQ" and think that she is very clever when she=zero IQ.

      AND VERY IMPORTANT AS WHAT MY DAD SAID SHE IS JUST A DENTIST, SHE HAS NO RIGHTS TO CARE THAT WHETHER HER PATIENTS ARE OF LOW-IQ, ARE NORMAL, ETC, HER JOB IS PRIMARILY ON DENTAL ONLY. SHE CANNOT INTERFERE OTHERS' EQ OR IQ EVEN IF SHE IS ANY LOUSY PSYCHOLOGIST OR SO.

      And I shall say she should observe the good service protocols and be professional when she is supposed to be. She should respect the customers or patients irregardless whether she is happy or not. She should not abuse others with their weaknesses. She should have been courterous although she can't earn any cents from the patients; this is her FAULT for not making good dentures, she should correct them at her full responsibilities. She shouldn't excuse herself or say tonnes of nasty things to cover her faults and put the mistakes on her patients instead.

      And most importantly, if she can't provide good service and even good medical support for her patients, she might as well resign and get her bums out of the clinic. She should go for upgrading of her medical techniques and attend courses to improve her service standards. She is claimed to be a poor dentist who has no rights to stay at her current position.


      This dental clinic is located at Yishun. Somewhere.....
      Edited by SingaporeTyrannosaur 07 Nov `08, 2:29AM
    • A 28-hour wait for a bed at the Singapore General Hospital

      Wednesday, 2 April 2008, 7:00 am | 604 views

      Andrew Loh

      “In Singapore, within half-an-hour, you would be in SGH (Singapore General Hospital), TTSH (Tan Tock Seng Hospital) and within one-and-a-half to two hours flat, you’d know what went wrong.”

      - Lee Kuan Yew, TODAY, November, 2003

      Recently a friend of mine (we’ll call her ‘Esther’) was admitted to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department of the Singapore General Hospital (SGH).

      Esther had earlier seen her GP who recommended that she consulted doctors at SGH to determine the cause of her illness.

       

      Day One

      Registration – 8.40pm

      The registration at the triage section of the A&E’s Isolation Ward (IW) was smooth and swift and went without a hitch. The triage nurse was courteous, friendly and apparently highly efficient. We thanked her and took our seats at the waiting area for Esther’s number to be called by the doctor on duty that night.

      It was about 8.40pm.

      The consultation with the doctor eventually took place at around 10pm – after some 1 hour 20 mins later. Esther was told that she had to be admitted for overnight observation so that more tests could be done to ascertain the cause of her illness.

      So, we returned to the waiting area and waited for Esther to be assigned a ward and a bed. In the meantime, a nurse told us that they would find a bed in the IW for Esther to rest temporarily, instead of sitting on the chairs in the waiting area, which was an exercise in endurance for someone who is ill.

      It turned out to be a frustrating, excruciating and a very long wait indeed.

      At 12.20am, some 3 hours and 40 mins after Esther had registered at the A&E, I approached the triage nurse and asked if they were aware that Esther was waiting for a bed in the IW. (In all those 3 hours 40 mins, we were not informed or updated about when a bed might be available.)

      The nurse was very understanding and explained that there were no beds available and that there was nothing they could do. And so the wait continued.

      12.50am – 4 hours 10 mins

      At 12.50am – 4 hours and 10mins after registration – we were finally informed that a bed was available in the IW’s Fever Zone. The relief – and exhaustion - on Esther’s face was evident. She would be able to rest her tired self finally.

      The “Fever Zone”, where the temporary beds were, is a small section within the Isolation Ward. It has two rooms – one for male patients and one for female patients. Each room could hold about 6 to 7 beds. The Fever Zone is the place where patients who have to be warded are temporarily placed while waiting to be admitted to the wards of their choice.

      Esther had opted for a B2-plus ward (5 patients in an air-conditioned room).

      We were hopeful that we wouldn’t have to wait just as long for Esther to be assigned a bed in the B2-plus ward. The IW ward has its television and lights on 24-hours and patients are wheeled out to the wards and new ones wheeled in, a situation which doesn’t really allow one to rest properly amidst the noise and the comings and goings.

      Our hope was misplaced.

      The long wait was to last till the next day.

      Day Two

      9pm – 24 hours 20 mins

      At about 9pm on Day Two – 24 hours 20 minutes after registration - Esther was informed that a B2 bed was available and the nurse asked if she wanted it. As a B2 ward is non-air conditioned, as opposed to a B2-plus ward, Esther declined. (See here)

      The reason why she declined is because we suspected that Esther might have to stay quite a while in the hospital (as she already had 2 previous unsuccessful blood tests, one at a private hospital and the other with her GP) and because of her constitutional sensitivity to warm temperatures we decided to wait for a B2-plus bed.

      Thus, we waited a further 3 hours.

      12.50am – 28 hours 10 mins

      At about 12 midnight, a nurse informed us that a B2-plus bed was available. Preparation was then made to transfer us to the ward. Esther was put on a wheelchair and wheeled to the corridor of the IW. We were so tired from all the hours of waiting. It was only 15 minutes later that we heard the nurse informing the ward, through a phone call, that Esther was ready to be transferred. A further 12 minutes later, a male nurse arrived to wheel Esther to the B2-plus area of the hospital. Esther had waited for about 30 minutes in the corridor.

      It was 12.50am on Day Two before Esther finally managed to put her head down on a bed in a B2-plus ward.

      All in all, from registration to being admitted to a B2-plus ward, it took 28 hours and 10 minutes.

      Nurses were patient, courteous and professional

      Now, before you think that my frustration is directed at the nurses on duty that night, let me say that they were very patient, courteous and professional in their duties. Although they could have done better in some areas – such as keeping us informed of the situation with the availability of the bed – it is understandable as the A&E is a very busy place to work in. The nurses also had to tend to many patients.

      I would like to mention, particularly, the nurses at the IW’s Fever Zone. They were compassionate and understanding. This is especially commendable when one considers that most of the patients in the IW that night were elderly and weak.

      One of the nurses explained to Esther that the situation has been such since the Chinese New Year. She also said that the wards in Tan Tock Seng Hospital were fully occupied and patients were being directed to SGH. Hence the shortfall of beds there.

      A serious problem

      Esther was not the only one who had to wait so many hours for a bed. But perhaps she is luckier than others who had had to wait in wheelchairs in the waiting area for hours and hours on end that night we were there – for even the number of beds in the IW is limited.

      While MM Lee may be right that “within one-and-a-half to two hours flat, you’d know what went wrong” (even though in Esher’s case the cause of her illness is still unknown 5 days after admission to SGH), the other important thing is the availability, or the squeeze, on the number of hospital beds.

      According to the nurses there, this is not a sudden or a temporary hiccup. It has been like this since the Chinese New Year, as earlier mentioned.

      While we trumpet the excellence of our clinical healthcare service (and I don’t disagree with this), it is what happens on the ground to each patient that needs to be looked at.

      Waiting for more than 28 hours for a bed is simply unacceptable.

      I hope that the Minister for Health, Mr Khaw Boon Wan, will put some effort into solving this problem – especially now that he has been called “the best Health Minister Singapore has ever had” by none other than SM Goh himself. (Straits Times)

      When you are sick and weak, you shouldn’t be made to endure a frustrating and excruciating 28 hours just for a bed.

      And I am sure that Esther is not the only one who has had this experience.

      Perhaps the new Khoo Teck Puat hospital in Yishun, scheduled to open in 2010, will help to alleviate the situation. But that is left to be seen.

      One can only hope that Singapore’s healthcare system will not become what MM Lee said of the system in the UK, where he experienced “restlessness and unhappiness” when waiting for 45 minutes for an ambulance:

      “There’s no connection between those in the system and the patients..”

      - MM Lee, (TODAY)

      From Esther’s experience, one could say the same for Singapore’s system as well.

    • 1)<!--</div> --> sarek_home on April 2nd, 2008 8.11 am

      I know of three cases where children with fever are hospitalized for days and weeks and the doctors never found out the cause.

      This particular case seems to be an indicator that hospital capacity is stretched to its limit. Few possible causes:

      1. increasing population size raise the demand.
      2. more people getting sick and taking longer time to recover due to multiple environmental factors, new diseases and more drug resisting virus etc.
      3. more hospital space is designated to serve medical tourists.

      It also show a problem hospitals face: what is the right mix of different types of wards. There might be a Class A or Class C bed immediately available, but both would not be an option for Esther. If that is the case, a capacity-demand mismatch play a part in this waiting game.

    • Long waits at outpatient specialist clinics

      Written by Rachel Chan, on Monday, 26 February 2007

      Published in : The News, Latest News

      Outpatients at Changi General Hospital (CGH) and the National University Hospital (NUH) face the shortest waiting times - about four days - on average to see a specialist. At Singapore General Hospital, outpatients have to wait an average of under 30 days. The longest wait is 89 days, for outpatients at Alexandra Hospital.
    • Long wait for a routine check-up at Raffles Hospital an exasperating example of too few doctors?

      <!-- headline one : end --><!-- show image if available -->

      <!-- START OF : div id="storytext"-->

      <!-- more than 4 paragraphs -->I COULD not have been more disappointed with the service I experienced at Raffles Hospital when I went for a medical check-up last Saturday.

      After waiting for about 20 minutes to get a queue number, I was told that the wait would be approximately three hours. I waited for another 20 minutes, went to have my breakfast, came back and read the newspaper - and found that my registration had still not been completed. Then the queue numbers of people who had arrived after me were called. I asked the staff why this was happening, as registration merely required keying in my details, and therefore the queue numbers should be called sequentially. At this point, the staff located my documents and told me to go for the X-ray. Another wait at the X-ray room, but a shorter one this time. After that, I went back to where I had made my initial registration to see the doctor.

      With more than 50 people waiting to see the doctor, I asked a staff member and was told that there are either one or two doctors on duty, and it would be another long wait. When I asked why there were only so few doctors, considering the number of people waiting, I was told that this is how the system works there. I was further informed that my wait that day was in fact considered a shorter wait compared to other days. I asked how that could be possible as I had to wait for at least three hours for services that would take less than 10 minutes.

      For the welfare of everyone going for medical check-ups in Raffles Hospital, may I ask the hospital management to please enlighten us on the reason for the three-hour wait for a simple check-up? Why aren't more doctors deployed to deal with the situation?

      To improve matters, perhaps the hospital's processes could be streamlined, like combining the steps involving obtaining the queue number and registration, since there is seemingly no benefit in separating the process.

      Yue Yuh Bing (Ms)

  • oldbreadstinks's Avatar
    3,400 posts since Dec '03
    • Originally posted by SingaporeTyrannosaur:

      Sick child waited 1 1/2 hours to see A&E doc

       

        ON THE day the letter, 'Three-hour wait at KK's A&E Department' (ST, March 7), was published, my son too came down with vomiting, diarrhoea and fever.

        He experienced excessive thirst but would throw up shortly after drinking water. As he was showing signs of dehydration, my wife and I decided to take him to a hospital after midnight.

        Unfortunately, having missed reading the papers that day, we took him to KK Hospital in the belief that we could get immediate help at the 24-hour children's emergency ward. How wrong we were.

        Despite being put on the 'priority' list, it was only 1 1/2 hours later that we finally saw the doctor. The check-up was simple and was over in 15 minutes.

        We decided to admit him for observation, and for him to get some rest. Then came more drama. The admission process took some 40 minutes. I was asked to sign in some 10 different places, and the staff (whose English was hardly comprehensible) was going back and forth photocopying forms.

        Apparently, we could not send our son up to the room before all the forms were completed. It was close to 4am before he got to his bed. My wife fell sick the next morning.

        It seems hospitals here take more care of paperwork and payments than of the sick. The fact is that there will always be many cases which, although not life-and-death situations, cannot exactly wait until the next day. What should we do in such cases?

        I would also like to know if the Ministry of Health could publish statistics on waiting times in A&E wards. Also, whether there are any guidelines governing this.



      Agus Tirtoredjo
      The Straits Times
      March 23, 2006

      one of my friends received instant service, but we had to be the ones to carry him in. other times when i had to see a doc if not obviously dying quite hard to get instant service.

  • lionnoisy's Avatar
    6,610 posts since May '05
    • Thanks for all your timely and valuable contributions.

      I understand how u or your love one feel or suffer when they have to

      wait long time in A& E,or wait many hours for a bed.

      It happen in all first world country .Isolated incidents

      shall not blind u to give a fair assessment on  SG health sys.

      Look at the forest,the general and overall performances.

      Compared with NSW  cut health budget of A$500 m and

      few ill fated Oz hospitals which runs out

      of daily and essential supply like cotton,SG incidents are peanuts!!

      read below.

      FYI.Any qualified first aider will tell u they will give priority to

      people why lie quitely.Those cry very pain is still urgent,

      but in lower priority.

      Lets talk about Oz health sys,acute shortage of doc

      in rural area and possible shortage of funds.

      @@@@@@

      Heavy dependant on foreign health workers

      About 40%.The recent German doctor case high light the dilemma

      of Oz gavaman.The doc's son suffer from Down

      whose PR is rejected.The rural hospital of 80 beds will suffer more

      if the German doc leave.

      Moeller's hospital already struggling--

      we need u Doc,but not your son!!

      16:00 AEST Fri Oct 31 2008

      Wimmera's only physician, Dr Bernhard Moeller, and his son Lukas.

      German doctor sparks Australia immigration row Reuters UK
      Doctor's community contribution 'ignored' in visa row ABC Online

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/10/31/2407386.htm?section=justin


      Moeller's hospital already struggling Ninemsn

      http://news.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=658578

      Doctor with disabled son denied Australian residency
      International Herald Tribune - 2008年11月4日
      Foreign medical staff make up about 40 percent of the work force in Australia's regional hospitals and clinics, according to the Rural Doctors Association ...

       

      Do hospitals short of funds?

      1.Recently, http://www.aofm.gov.au/ called off a tender for Commonwealth Treasury Bills.A tender of A$300 m was successful on this week,Wednesday.

      2.Ytd news report NSW will suffer a cut in A$500 m health budget and

      West Aust cut 3% spending in coming months.

      3.2 or 3 weeks ago,news report hospital suffer short of daily supplies.

      4.PM Rudd made 30 days and 1 million settlement guarantee.see below.

      Few hospitals run out of supplies like cottons or other essential stuff.SuppIiers

      are owed millions of dollar!!So,now u knows why PM Rudd

      promised in last month that all payment due to SME below A$1 million

      would be settled within one month!!Do all the payment terms

      shall follow the contracts?Why did Rudd need to guarantee?

      To boost SME to deal with Federal gavaman?Oh Sorry,

      not state or local gavaman contracts!!

      24 oct 2008

      What I’d like to propose today is a government guarantee to pay all of the federal government’s contracts, up to $1 million, to small business, on time, within 30 days. That’s almost 70,000 contracts a year. And if we don’t, the proposal is this: you and small business can charge us interest until we do. We intend to lead by example.

       

      For hospitals suppliers  owed millions of $$,previoulsy I think it

      probabaly  are caused by admin procedures delay.

      When u combine all these news together,it seem Ozshort of

      money.AOFM will tell u Oz gets budget suplrus and issuance of Treasuaury

      Bill just to fill market demand.They said Oz gavaman dunt need the cash.

      But is it true?

      Now,i have a second thought.Do state gavamna have money?

      U tell me ,mate.

      http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/hospital-a-day-from-closing-over-debts/2008/10/17/1223750333630.html

      http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Della-Bosca-to-fix-systemic-failure-KG3XR?OpenDocument&src=is

      NSW health minister to fix 'systemic failure'

      NSW Health Minister John Della Bosca has promised to fix a "systemic failure" that forced doctors at a hospital in the state's west to buy their own medical supplies.

      Mr Della Bosca on Thursday said he had launched an investigation into cash-flow problems at the Greater Western Area Health Service which led to shortages of medical gear at Dubbo Base Hospital.

      "The direct answer is cash flow, and it is totally unacceptable for doctors and nurses to be paying for supplies out of their own pocket," he told Fairfax Radio Network.

      "It is totally unacceptable, if it is true, that doctors and nurses are having to borrow bandaging from local veterinary scientists.

      "I'm immediately having that investigated as of today."

      Mr Della Bosca said before medical staff went public with their concerns, he had held a meeting with the GWAHS's chief financial officer a week ago.

      The meeting had led to the payment of about 5,000 outstanding accounts.

      "Those creditors are now satisfied and supplies have been restarted," Mr Della Bosca said.

      "(But) we need to fix the system, there's a systemic failure here and I'm getting to the bottom of it.

      "I expect to have it fixed and fixed very quickly."

      A Dubbo-based doctor has said he personally bought equipment so a diagnostic blood test could be processed at the hospital, while nurses also say they often source medical supplies from the local vet.

      The hospital's Medical Staff Council chairman, Dr Dean Fisher, said there had been ongoing problems at the facility, but patient care was now threatened.

      "It ... stems mostly from bills unpaid by GWAHS, which stopped supplies being sent up to us to use," Dr Fisher said Wednesday.

      "In the past it's been unpaid food bills, unpaid transport bills, now it's affecting patient safety and that's of extraordinary concern."

      The GWAHS has brought forward to Monday a meeting with the staff council originally scheduled for next month.

      NSW is one of the rich states in oz!!

       

      The Murray Valley Standard

      @@@@@@@@@@@@@@2

      While Oz gavaman in Federal and state level are tightening the belts,

      this poor red dot will throw $$ to boost economy.Goh Chok Tong

      appealed u to spend little on hawker center,coffeeshop and foot massage!!

      Keep the money moving.

      Unions slam West Australia government spending cuts

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2008/10/29/2404274.htm

      Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:44am AEDT

      The Treasurer Troy Buswell has announced plans to cut spending by 3 per cent during the coming months.

      Mr Buswell says the aim is to keep the budget in check.

      Toni Walkington from the Public Sector Union says it is the wrong time to to pursue this sort of agenda

      The union movement has attacked the State Government's plan to cut spending across the public service, saying it is a bad move at a time when the public sector is crying out for more assistance.

       

      bnnn

      Edited by lionnoisy 07 Nov `08, 8:38AM
    • read all health news in one go

      http://www.abc.net.au/news/tag/health/default_3.htm

      spending  cut confirmed

      Budget cuts won't affect police, education or health: Barnett

      Wed Oct 29, 2008 1:25pm AEDT

      The WA Premier, Colin Barnett, has sought to play down concerns about the impact of imminent budget cuts.

  • SingaporeTyrannosaur's Avatar
    6,889 posts since Jan '03
    • Healthcare Pricing Singapore Style.....

       

      I think our system has gotten better at creative pricing of healthcare services. Even for a person who is concerned about healthcare and keeps a close watch on escalating healthcare costs and how subsidy is being reduced....... I'm really surprised by this one from today's Straits Times forum:
      If you get 50 pills from the doctor and you're suppose to take 1 per day, it will cost 3 times more than if you're to take 2 per day. Yes, the same 50 pills cost 3 times more if you consume it slower. I know the govt is perpetually worried about people abusing govt aid by consuming more than they really need (e.g. 3 meals instead of 2 meals per day) that is why they give people on PA (public assistance) enough for only 2 meals a day......I don't know they are so cautious to extend these wonderful ideas to healthcare. I guess they are worried that the woman might consume more medicine than she really needs even though it is perscribed by a doctor.
      A few months ago, I woke up with an extreme pain in my elbow. I went to the GP and he told me I needed to get it checked by a specialist as my joint might be infected. I took some pain killers to keep the pain away andI called up the govt hospital to ask for an appointment. They told me 2 weeks time unless I came in as a "private patient". I didn't know what "private patient" meant to my pocket -$500?, $1000? so I just took more blue painkiller pills and the '2 weeks later' appointment. It was strange that a clerk (not doctor) was at the other endtelling me what my medical options were.
      .
      Two weeks later I turned up at the hospital and was seen by a specialist:
      Specialist: Lucky Tan right, sit down. What's wrong with you?
      Me: I woke up 2 weeks ago and my elbow hurt like hell, the GP asked me to come here and check if it's infected.
      Specialist:2 weeks ago? Does it hurt now?
      Me:No.
      Specialist:In that case, there is nothing I can do for you. Come back again if it hurts and I can run some test on fluids in you elbow joint.

      $70 for a 1 minute conversation with a specialist....and that was subsidised!
      The Singapore healthcare system is going to be great! As our Minister Khaw focusses on reducing subsidy at the same time Singapore turns into a medical hub for rich millionaires in the region and beyond, our healthcare industry will enter a Golden Period of high profits. You may think the priority of care depends severity of your sickness - ah that is so old fashion in modern Singapore Inc. You want treatment fast, just pay for it - be it dental care, elbow pain, etc. The poor can afford to wait and the rich can afford to pay.

       

      posted by LuckySingaporean at 7:12 AM

      <!-- End .post --><!-- Begin #comments -->

    • One actual experience:

      Waited 3 long hours to see the doctor in a govt privatised hospital. Spent only a few minutes in consultation. No medicine prescribed.

      Cost $25

      Great service with a an equally great price.

      By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:59 AM

    • Singapore’s healthcare system - uniquely Singapore? F1 or F9? (Part 1)

      Friday, 18 May 2007, 3:00 am | 1,078 views

      By Leong Sze Hian

      This is part one of a three-parts chronological treatise on healthcare issues over the last 2 years or so, like means-testing, non-priority for subsidised rates healthcare, wards down-grading, medical fees competition, costs of medicines and alternatives, healthcare spending, MediShield, ElderShield, implications for foreigners, PRs and Singaporeans, etc.

      What will the future of healthcare be like for Singaporeans? What are some issues that we may need to be concerned with? What are your fears? What sort of healthcare system do you want? How do we compare with other countries?

      Here are the first 3 issues with our healthcare system.

       

      F1. May 2007 - REVERSE MEANS-TESTING:

      I went to the Travellers’ Health and Vaccination Clinic at Tan Tock Seng Hospital for a Yellow Fever vaccination recently. The charge was $130.20, compared to just $15 for the same vaccination I had at the same clinic 10 years ago. This is an increase of 768 per cent or a 24 per cent compounded increase per annum.

      The clinic was furnished lavishly with leather sofas, leather chairs, paintings on the walls, flowers in vases, etc, like a five-star hotel. The same vaccination costs about HK$200 (S$39), A$50 (S$63) and 35 euros (S$72) in Hong Kong, Australia and Ireland, respectively.

      Why has the cost of vaccination increased by so much over the last 10 years, when inflation in Singapore was less than 2 per cent per annum?

      When I paid the $130.20 fee, the staff gave me a brochure and said that if I had a platinum credit card, I would receive a 12 per cent discount for health screening.

      Why do the more affluent who qualify for a platinum card get a discount of 12 per cent, whereas the lower income have to pay 13.6 per cent more, in a government restructured hospital?

      Is this not, in a way, like reverse means testing - the rich pay less, the poor pay more?

       

       

      F2. April 2007 - ELDERSHIELD:

      The MOH has announced that the two insurers of ElderShield will give a one-time rebate to policyholders because of low claims relative to the premiums collected, since the scheme started.

      Why pay a rebate, and increase premiums at the same time? Why not just use the excess funding accumulated to reduce future premiums or increase benefits?

      At the end of last year, there were about 750,000 policyholders, with a total of 2,366 successful claims. About 16 per cent of claims declined. The claims payout last year was about $8.5 million (2,366 claims x $300 monthly x 12 months).

      Even if we assume all 750,000 policyholders paid the lowest premiums at age 40 of $169.74 (male $148.84 + female $190.63 divided by 2), premiums per year were $127.3 million ($169.74 x 750,000 policyholders).

      This means the claims ratio was only about 6.7 per cent ($8.5 million in claims but $127.3 million in premiums).

      As the 2,366 claims were the cumulative total for the four years since the scheme started, the claims payout over premiums per year is actually much lower.

      What was the claims ratio for each of the four years of the scheme? I believe this may be the most profitable insurance scheme in the history of insurance in any country.

      How much profit has been made since the scheme started?

      Notwithstanding the proposal to increase the monthly payout by $100 and the payout period from five to six years, in view of the above, how is it possible that the proposal now is to have existing policyholders pay a one-off adjustment to make up for lower premiums paid in earlier years under the current ElderShield scheme, increase premiums of about $10 a month for the older age group, and have policyholders registered automatically for the new scheme after September pay premiums of $1 to $2 more a month?

      As to the opt-out rate having gone down steadily from 38 per cent when the scheme was launched to 14 per cent last year, there are 1.26 million residents (Singaporeans and PRs) aged 40 to 64, according to the Department of Statistics’ ‘key statistics demography Singapore residents by age group end June 2006′.

      So, isn’t the opt-out rate about 40 per cent (with about 750,000 policyholders among 1.26 million residents)?

      Does the Ministry of Health’s study on the opt-out rate refer to the current opt-out rate of new entrants who reach age 40, or the overall opt-out rate of those eligible?

       

       

      F3. April 2007 - HOSPITAL WARDS DOWNGRADING:

      The Health Minister clarified in Parliament on April 10 that downgrading to subsidised wards is a two-day process and his plans to introduce means testing in hospitals within a year.

      Some Singaporeans who can afford higher class wards might be reluctant to opt for them, fearing that their hospital stay might be prolonged due to unexpected complications and the charges incurred might exceed their Medisave account balance, medical insurance and cash reserves.

      Thus, higher-income Singaporeans might opt for Class C or B2 subsidised wards if, for example, they believe that they could be required to stay in hospital for longer than, say, five days. The logic is that if it’s five days or less, they might think that they can afford the luxury of higher class ward facilities. But, since there is always the possibility of them staying for an indefinite period, they might think it is better not to risk opting for a higher class ward.

      Now that this worry is being exacerbated by means testing, the problem of overcrowding in Class C wards may get worse.

      In any case, when the Class C or B2 ward is full, one can go to a higher class ward and still pay the lower rates. So, why risk opting for a higher class ward in the first place?

      In this regard, I would like to suggest that patients and their families be assured that if they opt for a higher class ward, and end up staying for much longer than expected, such as over three weeks, they will automatically be allowed to downgrade to C class or B2.

      This may result in fewer people opting for C class or B2 on admission to the hospital.

      Currently, those who opt for a higher class ward, and subsequently request for downgrading, are subject to means testing — this I believe is what Singaporeans fear most. Thus, this may be the root cause for many patients opting for subsidised wards.

      It was clarified in Parliament that it takes two days or longer to process a ward-downgrading request, if patients are unable to produce the relevant documents to support their applications when means-testing is involved.

      Only those with a per capita family income of $1,000 a month or lower can downgrade to Class B2, and $500 or lower to Class C. For outpatients applying to downgrade, it takes an average of two weeks to secure an appointment with a medical social worker to assess whether the patient qualifies.

      So, for say a three-person family with a household income of just $1,501 a month, downgrading to Class C is not allowed. Only 1 per cent of patients in Class A or B1 wards who sought to downgrade were successful.

      Judging from this, no wonder Singaporeans are opting for lower-class wards — due to the fear of not being able to downgrade.

  • Poh Ah Pak's Avatar
    5,009 posts since Aug '07

    • Waited 3 long hours to see the doctor in a govt privatised hospital. Spent only a few minutes in consultation. No medicine prescribed.

      What is govt privatised hospital?

  • SingaporeTyrannosaur's Avatar
    6,889 posts since Jan '03
    • "Public toilets at NUH in shocking state

       

       

      BETWEEN Feb 3 and 11, I had to go to National University Hospital (NUH) daily because a family member was hospitalised. The medical care was excellent and the nurses professional and kind. However, the standard of hygiene in the public toilets left much to be desired. To put it bluntly, they were disgusting and, given our reputation for cleanliness and efficiency, quite disgraceful.

       

      I had to use the men's toilets on the ground floor and the shared individual cubicles on the sixth floor regularly. The floors were inevitably sopping with used paper towels strewn about. The toilet seats were broken, unhinged, wet, stained or all of the above. Needless to say, the stench was unbearable.

       

      What I found most distressing was the sorry state of the shared cubicle outside the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) on the second floor. Metres from what is supposed to be a sterile environment, the tap above the sink in the cubicle was not even working. There was no sterilised mat at the entrance of the ICU, which meant anyone who had just stepped out of the toilet would carry whatever creepy crawlies their shoes picked up from the wet floor into the ICU.

       

      Excuses of constant human traffic and insufficient cleaning staff cut no ice with me. The standard of hygiene in a hospital is supposed to be - pardon the pun - whiter than white. If NUH cannot rely on toilet users to be civilised, it should increase the number of times the toilets are cleaned every day. "

       

       

       

       

      Even toliet outside ICU dunt work! what if one day your love one in ICU and gets infected becos germs from toliet comes into ICU in so-call world class hospital?

       

      want yr world class hospital toliet to look like this?

       

      dunt say i anyhow say this or that good or bad. news is out there go see

       

    • 65 PEOPLE FALL ILL IN SINGAPORE DUE TO BAD WATER SUPPLY!

      WATER CONTAMINATION AT BUKIT TIMAH PLAZA

       

        Of nearly 1000 buildings inspected by the Public Utilities Board over the past month, 49 were found to have sanitary pipes above water tanks. The PUB said the management corporations of the 49 affected buildings have been asked to redirect the sanitary pipes or relocate the water tanks.

        Bukit Timah Plaza's management corporation is facing legal action for gross negligence in allowing sewage to contaminate the building's water supply system. The filthy water has made at least 65 people fall ill since last week. The Public Utilities Board (PUB) and the Ministry of Environment (ENV) said on Thursday 23 Aug 2000 that their investigations showed that the management corporation had "grossly neglected its duty" to maintain the complex's water supply and internal sewage-piping systems.

       

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