In a video released on 30 November (Saturday), popular vlogger Nas Daily was all praise for South Korea as he highlighted that the country has a “World-Class healthcare”.
“I have just arrived at a country that’s one of the best at medicine and everyone should know about it. This is South Korea,” he told.
He believes the country’s healthcare is unique because the “hospitals are required by law to be non-profit”.
“South Korea is unique because all their hospitals are required by law to be non-profit, which means all the profit that they make has to be invested back in the healthcare. And because of this, you get World-Class healthcare,” Nas explained.
In his video, he also revealed that this country in the East has some of the renowned medical technologies in the world like machines that treat cancer by shooting lasers only at the affected cancerous cells, without harming other healthy cells.
If that’s not all, Nas also highlighted that South Korea has “robots that can perform surgeries and doctors that are super efficient”.
With such advanced equipment and expertise, Nas claimed that this why “Korea has one of the highest survival rates in the world – over 92% for breast cancer and over 95% for kidney and pancreatic transplants”.
“This is better success rate than many other developed countries like the US, Canada, and even Japan,” he noted.
Besides modern medicine, Koreans are also well-versed in traditional medicine that can cure illness without surgery, using just herbal medicine and acupuncture, Nas stated.
Although South Korea is famously known for plastic surgeries, Nas highlighted that the country also has “charity programs that invite victims of abuse from all over the world and offer them free plastic surgeries”. This is done to rebuild their confidence as well as to give them a second chance at life.
Adding to the goodness, he said patients also receive cost-effective medical assistance, and have translators in their own native language for seamless communication.
“And in most cases, they are back in full health in no time. Korea invests a lot of effort into its healthcare. That’s why treatments are safe, accurate, fast and easy,” he said.
As such, Nas pointed out that it would be great if every country puts their patients before profit, as this would then allow more lives to be saved.
“This makes you wish every country invested in healthcare like Korea. This makes you wish every country puts patient before profit because maybe then, more lives will be saved,” he said in the end of his video.
Healthcare in Singapore
Singapore has always talked much about its affordable healthcare system, in particular the 3M (MediSave, MediShied (Life) and Medifund) formula. It is regarded as an effective system to help keep government healthcare expenditure low while not burdening people with heavy out-of-pocket medical expenses.
In fact, Ministry of Health (MOH) has said on their Facebook page that “Singapore has come a long way as we work to build a healthcare system that is accessible, affordable and provides quality of care.” The website notes that the healthcare system in Singapore is designed to ensure that “everyone has access to different levels of healthcare in a timely, cost-effective and seamless manner.”
Moreover, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong also said in his National Day message this year that in order to help older Singaporeans, the government has “protected them for their healthcare and retirement needs”.
However, in recent years we’ve heard more and more stories of how average Singaporeans are struggling to keep up with rapidly rising medical costs. With an ever ageing population, healthcare has become a major concern for the country.
In 2017, S$17.26 billion was spent on healthcare services (hospitals, western clinics, non-western clinics and dental and others) by patients seeking medical attention. In 2016, it was S$16.23 billion.
According to ValueChampion, Singaporeans pays very high out-of-pocket costs for healthcare even after taking into account every subsidy and insurance coverage available. In fact, out-of-pocket costs make up almost 37% of the total healthcare expenditure in Singapore – that’s almost three times higher than the high income-country average and 1.4 times higher than the East Asia & Pacific average.
It does not help when we have the cost of public healthcare being similar or more expensive after subsidises.
TOC had also published an article about how public polyclinics appear to be charging higher medical fees than private clinics – people don’t seem to immediately notice purely because of these so-called subsidies provided by the government.
If that’s not all, the Singapore Department of Statistics indicates that healthcare inflation is much higher than overall inflation by about 9.5% and has been so for the past five years. The cost of medical visits and treatments have also increased by 8% and 9% respectively since 2015, noted Asia One.