Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Health Care System: Where is the role of PAP Govt in taking care of Singaporeans?

The following is the report from Taiwan's media on the conference held in Singapore with regards to Health Care in Asia conference.

This report is an alternative report to our local MSM's spin on our health care system. The Taiwanese Minister of Health has criticized the Singapore's system as one that the government has shirked off their social responsibility towards the citizens in terms of providing basic health care.

Incidentally, I have been studying the Taiwanese Medical Insurance system which has provided a Universal coverage for ALL its citizens as well as foreign workers. I have put up my proposal to NSP manifesto committee on revamping the Medishield system.

The basic idea of this new Medical Insurance scheme is to have the government and employers to share part of the premiums paid as Medishield for their Singaporean workers. As for Foreign workers, the government will not share the burden of their premium while the employers will take up more of the responsibility.

This is a fair system whereby the Government and employers take up their social responsibility towards the citizens' health care insurance. The workers will still pay the bulk of the Medishield follow by their employers and the Government. For family members who are not gainfully employed, there will also be a co-payment of Medishield premiums.

The Medishield coverage should be widen. The payout by Medishield is only close to 55% of total premium collected for each year. This is lesser than Group Medical Insurance scheme, which has a much higher payout rate of 75%.

Anyway, the details of my proposal would be finalized in NSP manifesto in time to come. For the time being, here is the media report in Chinese, by Taiwanese online media (I have translated the important part mentioned about Singapore in the text below):


* 2010-03-30
* 新聞速報
* 【中央社】






 但是楊志良也坦承,這套制度的缺點,是會造成公民失能(civic failure),因為人民都有政府的健保照顧,所以就不會注意照顧自己的健康,浪費醫療資源,導致醫療消耗愈來愈高。





Yang Ziliang (Taiwan Minister of Health) said that Singapore's 3M system is basically a system that forces its citizens to pay for their own Medical Insurance (Medishield). i.e. taking money from the people. Thus, it is basically a system that consumers pay for themselves. If that is so, where is the Government's role in taking care of its citizens?


Yang Ziliang pointed out that it would be difficult for many countries to implement such a system because this system needs to force citizens to pay for their own medical insurance. But some of the lower income group who are not eligible for social welfare may have too low an income to have any deductions made from their salaries to pay for their own premiums. It would further lower their standards of living and this is against the spirit of social welfare and social responsibility (of the government).



At the end of the conference, many representatives including Indonesian, Malaysian and other countries concluded that Singapore's system may be good but it may only be implemented in Singapore as other countries may not be able to emulate it. Some have even used the failed experiment used by China as an example to reiterate this point.


On the other hand, Indonesian, Malaysian, Australian and other countries' representatives have indicated that they hope their own countries could take Taiwan's comprehensive Health Care Insurance scheme as a reference for their reform.

Goh Meng Seng


Anonymous said...

IS VERY GOOD..............................

cy said...

interestingly, taiwan minister recent proposal for increased premium to be paid to cover increasing costs of managing medical insurance was deemed a political hotspot for kuomintang.

in the end,ppl still needs to pay for it.

(the minister also threatened to resign if he does not get the increase in premium and called for a reduction in no. of elections in taiwan which led to too much political interference with his work - compare to khaw's statement of politics should not interfere with healthcare)

alternative healthcare systems to be investigated are like Mayo clinic, aravind low cost eye surgery (india)it is free for poor by using money earned from paying customers to subsidise it and a focus on cheap yet good quality innovation and just-in-time management

I also propose other medical practices like TCM,ayurverda to be given equal status as western medicine and promote them to public as they are age-old traditions that are well-tested and works even better than western medicine.

Anonymous said...

Is the information on medishield and related payout updated? what is the sample size, type and range of payout? what annual reports are the article based from? such data is can be misleading and distorted.