By Leong Sze Hian
I refer to the article “Subsidise MediShield premiums for needy, says NCMP” (Today, Nov 13).
Will increase Government’s share of healthcare spending from 33 to 40%?
It states that “In response, Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said the Government will shoulder a greater proportion of healthcare costs, from the current 33 per cent to 40 per cent or more. It is reviewing the subsidy structure at Specialist Outpatient Clinics and looking to help the lower-income and pioneer generation of older Singaporeans to pay for MediShield Life premiums, so they need not worry about healthcare in their old age.”
Don’t you find it somewhat self-contradictory to say that “the Government will shoulder a greater proportion of healthcare costs, from the current 33 per cent to 40 per cent or more”- and yet on the other hand say that Medishield premiums will have to increase, Medisave contribution rate will have to increase, etc?
Just increased Medishield, Medisave – now say have to increase some more?
We have been hearing the same rhetoric in recent years that the Government will spend more on healthcare – yet at the same time, we just increased Medishield premiums and deductibles in March this year, increased Medisave contribution rates, etc?
So, if you keep increasing everything on healthcare, what exactly does the statement of increasing the Government’s share (from the current 33 to 40 per cent) really mean?
No timeline for “will increase”?
Also, shouldn’t there be a target timeline for the increase – such as to 35 per cent by the end of this year, 40 per cent by the end of next year or something?
Will there be periodic updates in the future on the progress of this “will increase”?
Otherwise, how do we hold the Government accountable on this promise to increase?
As an analogy, if I tell you that I will help you more, but I never say by when – then what good is it to you in reality?
“While there is room to calibrate co-payments to provide more help, Mr Gan said co-payments are an important strategy to maintain and moderate costs — encouraging patients and healthcare providers to focus on more cost-effective treatment options”
– this seems to be a lot of words that do not mean anything at all.
In other words, are we or are we not going to make the co-payments burden, especially for larger bills – less painful – instead of saying “While there is room to calibrate co-payments to provide more help”?
Never spend a single cent on healthcare?
With regard to “Singapore’s healthcare financing system is “fundamentally sound, but we need to future-proof it, so it remains effective and relevant for many years to come”, he said”
– the key fundamental issue – that from a cashflow perspective, the Government does not spend a single cent on healthcare, CPF and HDB? – has been met with a deafening silence for too long!
To put the question succinctly – For each of the years 2012 and 2011, what were the total CPF contributions to Medisave accounts, and the breakdown of withdrawals from Medisave for direct medical expenses; Medishield, Private Shield plans and Eldershield premiums?
废话少说 – Fei Hua Shao Shuo (Cut the crap)