Why are cancer treatments not subsidized by government owned hospitals?

The following is a letter sent to us by a TOC reader.

Dear Minister of Health Mr Khaw Boon Wan, 

First of all, I would like to wish you a speedy recovery from your most recent surgery. I certainly understand the difficulties of spending your days in the hospital. But I wrote to you on a very worrying matter. You see, I am 65 and I am a cancer patient. I have contracted Myloma since 2009, a rare blood cancer. Since election is around the corner, I would like to hear what you could do for cancer stricken patients like me.

You probably already know this since you are the Minister of Health, but why is cancer treatments and cancer drugs not subsidized by the government?
I am going to a government owned hospital, SGH afterall. The treatments are thousands and thousands of dollars each cycle, the drugs are hundreds of dollars per pill. Why are they not being subsidized? Unlike you, I do not have super scale salary to buy such great insurance plans. Are you requesting for those who can’t afford treatment to die? Those very same people who helped you build this country? Cancer is now a very common illness, in a couple of years time, 1 in 6 people will have some form of cancer. 

I am old; please do not take the opportunity to get good PR through
answering this question. I just want you to answer, why cancer treatment and cancer drugs are not subsidized in government owned hospital?

Yours Sincerely,

Choi Lim Siew

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